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Applying for the Habitat Homeownership Program is a several step process. First, applicants are screened to make sure they meet our program’s four criteria:
1. Family Income of 30% - 60 % of Area Median Income for family size
2. Ability to make monthly payments through stable, long-term income source
Applicants must show that they have the ability to make monthly house payments over the course of several years. Therefore, income must come from a long-term source, such as employment, disability, or another ongoing income source.
3. Need for better housing
Qualified applicants who show greatest need for better housing will be selected. Factors include no permanent residence of their own, overcrowding, unhealthy conditions, high housing cost to income ratio, and inability to get traditional financing. Applicants can not have owned a home in the last three years.
4. Ability and willingness to partner with Habitat.
Partner families are required to perform at least 275 hours of sweat equity, working on their home and other Habitat projects. They must also successfully complete homeownership counseling and financial literacy classes which are included in their sweat equity hours.
If you think you qualify to apply, download our Habitat Information Brochure. Complete it and mail it to to 280 Ottawa Street, Muskegon, MI 49442. Once it is reviewed and approved for application, you will be sent a detailed application packet that includes requests for credit and personal references as well as family records. Your completed application will then be reviewed with you at an in-take appointment. Approved applicants will participate in up to two more separate interviews with one taking place in your current home.
Final recommendations are made by a volunteer Family Selection committee to the MCHFH Board of Directors. The Board makes final approval based on the committee's recommendations and the number of homes planned for construction.
Families selected into the Homeownership program receive orientation and education throughout the construction of their homes as they complete sweat equity and other program requirements. After purchase of their homes, families are encouraged to stay involved in the Habitat program to help others reach their dreams of homeownership.
Families who are not selected into the Homeownership Program are referred to other area resources and educated on how to successfully apply in the future. Those applicants are encouraged to address any issues hindering their selection and to apply again.
For information on Habitat’s application process, contact our office at 231-727-6020.