Homeownership Program Eligibility: What is AMI & Why Does it Matter?

Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County provides qualifying households the opportunity to purchase a home through an affordable mortgage. This year’s homeownership application window will be open from September 18 through September 29 and we encourage everyone to apply.

To qualify for our program, you must:

  • Have lived or worked in Monroe County for 1 year
  • Have a need for housing
  • Have the ability to pay an affordable mortgage
  • Have a willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity
  • Attend a Homeownership Information Meeting within the last 12 months

Ability to Pay // Income Requirements

Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County uses Area Median Income (AMI) to determine income eligibility for our Homeownership Program. AMI is calculated based on the median income of a specific geographical area, such as a city or county. To qualify, households must earn between at least 35-80% of the AMI based on the family’s size and include all sources of income.

Importance of AMI

Habitat for Humanity aims to provide affordable and sustainable housing solutions to low-income families. By using AMI, Habitat guarantees homes are priced appropriately for participants in our Homeownership Program. The income guidelines help determine affordable mortgage payments, taking into account the financial capacity of the homeowners. Please note that most Habitat homes in the Bloomington area are affordable to households earning 35% or higher of the area median income.

It’s important for potential Habitat for Humanity homebuyers to be aware of these income requirements, start the application process for assistance programs early, gather necessary documentation in advance, and acknowledge the relevance of AMI in assessing program eligibility.

Assistance Programs

  • If potential homebuyers believe they are under the income limit, they should apply for assistance as early as possible.
  • Some assistance programs to consider are SNAP (food stamps), Section 8 housing, social security benefits, and energy assistance provided by organizations like South Central Action Program (SCCAP).
  • Applying for and obtaining documentation for these assistance programs may take time, so it’s crucial to start the process early.
  • Feel free to contact us for further details and assistance in meeting the required AMI.

Additional Considerations

  • The four-week period between the required Homeownership Information Meeting and the application window may not be sufficient for individuals who realize they need to include certain income sources to qualify.
  • If homebuyers have child support they need to claim, acquiring the necessary documents might also require time.
  • If an applicant is working part-time, they may need to increase their hours or find a second part-time job to meet the income requirements.

Together, we can work toward achieving your dream of owning a home. We strongly encourage you to reach out to us with any questions you may have. For questions, contact Martha, Homeowner Services Director, at hs@monroecountyhabitat.org or call 812-331-4069.

More Information About Our Homeownership Program // Qualified applications are reviewed by our Homeowner Selection Committee and loan applications are underwritten to ensure successful homeownership. Habitat homes are sold with an affordable mortgage. This affordable payment creates financial stability, allowing homeowners to invest in their families and future.

Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County accepts applicants, volunteers, and supporters from all backgrounds for we wholeheartedly support self-expression and equity.

Our application window will be open from September 18 through September 29, 2023 and you must attend a Homeowner Information Meeting to be considered for and to receive an application. Meeting dates are:

  • Thursday, August 24, 2023 // Session one: 6 p.m. in English // Session two: 7 p.m. in Spanish
  • Saturday, August 26, 2023 // Session one: 10:30 a.m. in English // Session two: 11:30 a.m. in Spanish

Again, this one-hour meeting is a basic requirement for being accepted into the program and is offered in both English and Spanish. All meetings are held at Monroe County Public Library Auditorium at 303 East Kirkwood Avenue in Bloomington.

To determine if you qualify officially, you’ll need to complete and submit the official application within the open application window. Some questions to consider:

  • Have you lived or worked in Monroe County for at least one year?
  • Is your current housing in poor physical condition, overcrowded, unaffordable or subsidized, transitional, or public housing (i.e: Section 8, mobile home)?
  • Are you unable to purchase a home through a bank or other programs?
  • Do you have a steady income? Could you make affordable mortgage payments every month?
  • Is every person over 18 in your family willing to do 250 hours of “sweat equity” (volunteer work) with Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County?

If you would like more details on criteria and eligibility, please view the guidelines here, give us a call at 812-331-4069 or email Martha at hs@monroecoutnyhabitat.org. You can download our Homeownership Program flyer here.