Who Is Eligible?
Affordable homeownership program for hard-working families
The Habitat homeownership program is specifically designed for families who do not qualify for a conventional mortgage.
The three key criteria utilized to determine the suitability of a family for a Habitat house are:
- ability to pay
- willingness to partner with Habitat
Habitat homes are sold to eligible families at the assessed value of the house with no down payment and an affordable, interest-free mortgage.
Applicants living in substandard housing are given preference. Those currently living in subsidized housing may also be eligible. You must have been living in the community where we are building for at least one year. Some of the factors considered are:
- Current housing conditions – such as poor wiring, ventilation, insufficient heating or bathroom facilities.
- Health conditions – when medical conditions are made worse by current housing.
- Family size – as it relates to overcrowding.
- Percentage of income currently spent on housing – more than 30% of gross income spent on housing costs.
- Safety of neighbourhood – in which you currently reside.
Volunteer hours involves the hands-on involvement of future homeowners in the construction of their own homes, as well as participation in other Habitat and community activities. 500 volunteer hours are required prior to getting a mortgage, which represent the future homeowner’s commitment to their Habitat home and community. Volunteer hours are designed to meet three goals:
- Partnership – provides meaningful interaction between future homeowners, Habitat representatives and volunteers.
- Pride of ownership – investing volunteer hours in their own home and other Habitat homes helps families transition to homeownership.
- Development of skills and knowledge – on the build site, future homeowners gain an understanding of the construction of their homes and future home maintenance needs. Additional programs are provided to educate families on financial planning, insurance, strata and other topics relevant to being a homeowner.
Ability to Pay
Habitat Thunder Bay does not want to put a family into a situation they cannot afford. “Ability to pay” means that:
- A family earns enough income to pay an interest-free mortgage, property taxes, insurance, utilities, strata fees, maintenance and all costs associated with home ownership.
- You must have a job and show a three-year work history. The family’s total gross (pre-tax) annual income from all sources must fall between minimum and maximum amounts according to family size.
- The monthly payment is based on 30% of the family’s total gross family income and covers the mortgage, property taxes, strata fees and insurance.
- Sources of income considered are employment income, spousal and child support, child care supplements, child tax benefits, pensions and some forms of social assistance. Income is verified for all adults intending to live in the home.
- The family’s income is reviewed annually and the monthly mortgage payments are determined for the following year.
Willingness to Partner with Habitat for Humanity
Some of the factors considered:
- Willingness to participate in Habitat activities and work with Habitat Thunder Bay in promotional and media events;
- Willingness to live in a community with families from a variety of socio-economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds;
- Determination to improve the family’s current situation; and
- Ability to schedule and complete 500 volunteer hours prior to getting a mortgage.