Homeownership

Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage

Homeownership Program

This application period has closed and will reopen in Spring of 2024.

Our program makes homeownership possible for those who meet the income qualifications and other eligibility requirements.

Habitat homes are not free! All program participants pay an affordable mortgage and help build their own homes alongside volunteers. This is not an emergency housing program. Our program takes roughly a full year to complete.

Resources

Sign up below to receive notifications about our Homeownership Program and check out our collection of resources to prepare you for application season!

Selection Process

We approve applicants based on three criteria: the need for adequate housing, ability to pay, and willingness to partner.

Applicants must also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, meet background check requirements, and be residents and/or employees of Williamson, Maury, Hickman, Decatur, and Lawrence counties for at least 12 months prior to applying.

Need for adequate housing

Adequate housing could mean living in a dwelling that lacks proper plumbing or wiring, has structural problems, or is in a state of disrepair. Living conditions could be overcrowded, temporary, or unsafe. Other examples of need include paying rent higher than 30% of income or needing accessibility for a household member with a disability.

Higher priority may be given to applicants with stronger needs at the discretion of the homeowner services department. Applicants should not have owned a home in the last 3 years nor have had a foreclosure in the last 4 years prior to applying.

Ability to pay

Applicants must demonstrate the ability to afford the estimated monthly mortgage and household expenses.

Income: Habitat requires a consistent, stable income in the United States for 2 years at a minimum annual household income of $35,500. This can include employment, social security, pension, disability income, worker’s compensation, alimony, and reliable child support. We consider the income of all adults (18 or older) in the household. Applicants must verify their employment history and provide documentation of the past 2 years of annual household income.

See the chart below for general income guidelines based on household size.

Household SizeMinimum Household Annual IncomeMaximum Household Income (Maury)Maximum Household Income (Williamson)
1$35,500$44,000$55,900
2$35,500$50,250$63,900
3$35,500$56,550$71,900
4$35,500$62,800$79,850
5$35,500$67,850$86,250
6$35,500$72,850$92,650
7$35,500$77,900$99,050
8$35,500$82,900$105,450
*These are subject to change. Having income within these guidelines does not guarantee approval.

Credit: Partner families must have a credit score of at least 620 or above. Additionally, debts such as collections and charge-offs must not exceed $2000 at the time of application. If approved, applicants must agree to resolve those debts 90 days before closing. We also consider recent payment history on rent, utilities, loans, and other expenses, as well as estimates for deferred student loans. Bankruptcies must have been discharged or dismissed for at least 1 year for Chapter 13 and at least 2 years for Chapter 7.

Savings: Applicants must be able to save up to 1% of the home purchase price for closing costs. This value is subject to change based on application season. For example, a home with a value of $275,000 will require closing costs of $2,750 to be saved and provided by the homeowner.

Willingness to partner

Once selected for the program, participants are required to participate in sweat equity hours by completing homeowner education classes, budget coaching, volunteering at the ReStore, and building on their own home and others in the program. Families with a single applicant are required to earn 200 hours, and families with both a single and co-applicant are required to earn 280 hours. Accommodations can be made for applicants with disabilities.

Location and design of homes based on what Habitat currently has available.

NOTICE: The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract), because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program, or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Project Act. The federal agency that administers compliance with this law concerning this credit is the Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C.Save

Featured Partners

Habitat for Humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. The support of our generous partners helps make our vision a reality and has a huge impact in the lives of families.

Tennessee Housing Development Agency GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency Community Foundation of Middle TN GivingMatters.com 2023 Top-Rated Nonprofit