Frequently Asked Questions

About the Homes

How many homes are available? 
There are 2 homes available in South Portland. These are part of an 8-home neighborhood.

Where are these homes in South Portland?
In the Thornton Heights neighborhood on Sunset Avenue.

What do the homes look like?

  • 1-2 levels
  • maximum of three bedrooms and 1.5 baths. (This could change based on the size of your family.)
  • around 1,200 square feet

When completed, the 3-bedroom will look similar to the house below:

cape style home

Financial Requirements

Are Habitat homes free?
No, Habitat homes are not free. Homeowners pay a low-interest mortgage with an affordable monthly payment that does not exceed 30% of the homeowner’s income.

How much money do I need to make to qualify for a home?
This depends on the size of your family and what the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) calls the Area Median Income (AMI), which means how much money people in our geographic area make. To qualify for a home in South Portland, you cannot make more than 65% AMI. Check out this chart here to see if you qualify. You must make at least $30,000, but no more than the number you see on the chart next to your family size.

Do I need to have a good credit score?
Your credit score needs to be 660 or higher. Want to know how to improve your credit score? Talk to your bank or contact Avesta’s Homeownership Center.

What should my debt-to-income ratio be?
43% or lower. Unsure what yours is? Use this calculator tool to find out.
If you want help improving your debt-to-income ratio, reach out to your bank or Avesta’s Homeownership Center. 

Other Questions

Can my application be carried over to the next application cycle if I don’t get a house this cycle?
No, you must fill out a new application for every new application cycle.

What if I just applied for a home in Standish or Freeport? Do I need to fill out another application for South Portland?
Even if you’re waiting to hear about the status of your application in Standish or Freeport, you can still apply for these homes in South Portland. However, you will need to fill out another application.

How is my application evaluated?
Applications are judged based on three factors:

  1. your need for affordable housing. This is evaluated compared to everyone else who has submitted an application and qualified financially.
  2. your ability to afford a monthly, low-cost mortgage. If selected for a Habitat home, your monthly mortgage payment will not exceed 30% of your income.
  3. your willingness to partner with Habitat

How long does this process take?
The selection process can take up to three months. Please do not call us! We’ll let you know if your application has been accepted and if it was denied.

Have more questions? Need help with your application?

Call of email our Director of Family Services, Molly Brake, at or 207-772-2151 x 104