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Habitat for Humanity believes that all hard-working individuals and families should have access to the benefits and stability of homeownership. In this belief, we are committed to partnering with homebuyers to build simple, decent, and affordable housing.
The low cost of our homes is made possible by the exceptional support of our community. Building costs remain low thanks to impressive donations and generous volunteerism making it possible to sell our homes to Habitat homebuyers who in turn make affordable mortgage payments funding future construction for Habitat families.
If you or someone you know is interested in applying to be a homeowner through Habitat for Humanity, please consider our three criteria:
1. Need for Housing
2. Ability to Pay
3. Willingness to Partner
Overview of the Habitat Home-Buying Process
Applicants must attend a Homeowner Information Meeting as part of the application process. Applications are available at the Homeowner Information Meeting and can also be picked up in our office (but your application will be incomplete if you do not attend a meeting).
Once you complete your application and gather all required documents, make sure to submit everything during an open application period. The Homeowner Selection Committee reviews applications and documents at the end of the month. If applicable, they will schedule a home interview the following month. If the Homeowner Selection Committee determines that you meet the need for housing, ability to pay, and willingness to partner, they will make a recommendation to our Board of Directors for final approval.
If accepted into the program, our team will partner with you and guide you through our Habitat process. You will begin by taking homeownership classes and volunteering at our construction site/ReStore to earn your sweat equity. Once our program requirements are completed and your home is ready, you will be able to move in and officially close on your mortgage!
How to Qualify
In order to be considered for the Habitat Homeownership Program, applicants must meet three important criteria:
1. Need for Housing
A need for housing can be demonstrated by any combination of the following:
– Inadequate or substandard housing: structural issues; utility problems; nonfunctioning essential appliances; mold; transitional or subsidized housing (Section 8); etc. – Unaffordable housing: spending more than 30% of your income toward rent – Overcrowded housing: several families in one living space; children of different genders or with an age gap of more than 3 years sharing one room; etc.
2. Ability to Pay
Applicants must demonstrate an ability to pay back an affordable mortgage. Monthly mortgage payments include both loan principal and escrow (real estate taxes, homeowner insurance).
Future homeowners accepted into the HFHMC Homeownership Program must have:
– A household income within 25% to 80% of the county’s median income for your household size (see chart). – One or more years of stable income: this includes traditional employment and/or non-work related benefit income that is expected to continue for at least 3 years (disability, child support, TANF, Social Security, etc.) – A reasonable level of debt in repayment and/or collections (medical debt is not included in our calculations) – Judgments and/or liens that do not exceed a total of $500 – Assets that do not exceed $30,000
Additionally, all applicants will undergo a credit check; however, we are interested in your access to homeownership and are more forgiving in your credit review than a traditional lender may be.
3. Willingness to Partner with Habitat
Once you have been accepted into the Habitat Homeownership Program, you will begin a partnership with Habitat. A unique and important characteristic of our program is that all adult (18 years and older) household members are responsible for earning 250 hours of sweat equity – or volunteer time – with our organization before closing on their home. This requirement demonstrates your ongoing commitment to our program, and provides the opportunity to connect with Habitat staff and community volunteers in the process. Sweat equity hours are earned by attending homeowner readiness classes (topics relate to personal finance and budgeting, home maintenance and community relations, and more), and by volunteering on the Habitat construction site, at the Habitat ReStore, in the office, and on special projects.
If you meet the qualifications and would like more information about Habitat homeownership, attend our next homebuyer information meeting (see next section for dates).
Contact Habitat’s Homeowner Services Manager by email or call 812.331.4069.
Homeowner Information Meetings
Have you ever been curious about purchasing a home with Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County? Attending one of our homeownership information meetings is a mandatory first step in the application process. These information meetings will help you understand our program requirements and learn more about the path to homeownership through HFHMC.
In order to submit an application during an open application window, you must have attended a Homeowner Information Meeting within the last year.
Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County, Inc. is a fair housing not-for-profit corporation. Habitat welcomes all potential homeowners regardless of race, religion, national origin, sex, marital or family status, or age.
The next Homeowner Information Meetings will be held in the Monroe County Public Library Auditorium (located at 303 E Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47408).
Wednesday, June 8
Session 1: 6:00-7:00pm
Session 2: 7:15-8:15pm
Thursday, June 9
Session 1: 6:00-7:00pm
Session 2: 7:15-8:15pm
We will be hosting two back-to-back sessions to accommodate those interested in the program, so we will start and end promptly. We cannot guarantee you will be able to attend if you are late – please do your best to be on-time (or early!) to avoid disrupting others in attendance. All sessions will be presented concurrently in English and Spanish.
Applications will be handed out at these information meetings. The application window will be open June 21-July 1, and all applications must be turned in to our office (213 E Kirkwood Avenue) within this time frame.
If these meeting times or application window do not work for you, we do hope to be able to open up again this year. Please call 812.331.4069 to find out if dates, times or location have changed.
Warranty Request Form (Current Habitat Homeowners)
There is a one-year warranty on all work done on your home by Habitat for Humanity of Monroe County, as well as a one-year warranty on all subcontracted work such as plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling. However, these warranties exclude damage resulting from regular wear and tear.
If a problem arises in your home within the one-year warranty period, you should:
– Determine if the original work was done by HFHMC volunteers or staff, or; – If the work was done by professional contractors (professionally-contracted work includes, but is not limited to: plumbing, electrical, and HVAC).
If the work was originally completed by HFHMC, then a homeowner may submit a Warranty Request Form to the Director of Land Development and Production. The grievance will be addressed by the Director of Land Development and Production within seven days, and will be followed by a written agreement detailing the solution and date by which the problem will be fixed. Current homeowners may also reach out to the Homeowner Services Manager with any questions.
Please complete the form below to submit your warranty request.
If there is a problem with subcontracted work, the subcontractor is to be contacted directly by the homeowner. After closing on their home, homeowners receive in the mail a letter listing all subcontractors who worked on their home; consult this letter for information on contacting the appropriate subcontractor. If you have lost or misplaced your letter, please contact the Homeowner Services Manager by calling 812.331.4069 or by emailing email@example.com.
How long will it take for me to get a home?
The whole process from application to move-in really depends on each situation but on average *may* take about 18-24 months. There are many factors involved with getting your home that are unique to each individual situation including available land, sweat equity hours, and willingness to partner. We are committed to getting you in your home as quickly as possible.
How does a Habitat mortgage work?
Habitat’s home ownership program is unique in two ways: (1) We sell houses to our homebuyers at the assessed value without adding in profit; 2) We offer affordable mortgages to buy the house. The affordable mortgage is significant, because a loan from a commercial bank adds interest payments, which can more than doubles the “cost” of the home to the buyer.
Our policy is that homebuyers should repay their mortgages as fast as they are able and our mortgages are 15 years when that is affordable. However, mortgages may be extended to 20, 25, or 30 years in order to keep payments affordable. There is no penalty to the buyer for paying off the mortgage ahead of schedule – though other restrictions may remain in place for the entire original mortgage period.
Will I get to choose where I live?
Our lots are offered to future homeowners as they become available for the family's size. We have built homes in all parts of Bloomington, so there is no guarantee where your lot will be. You have the option of refusing the first lot offered to you, but you will be asked to reapply to the program if you turn down a second lot offer.
Who pays to build each house?
We work with faith communities, businesses, and other organizations and individuals to sponsor the building of a house. Such sponsors contribute funds that go toward buying construction materials for the home and typically sponsoring organizations also volunteer skilled and unskilled workers to build alongside the homeowners on the house they sponsor. Once an affiliate has built 20 houses, the monthly mortgage payments from those 20 families are sufficient to build an additional house each year. Thus, as mortgage payments are recycled, homeowners also sponsor Habitat houses. Other funding comes from grants and individual donations.
How will I earn sweat equity hours?
The primary way to earn sweat equity hours is by working on the construction site (at least 100 hours must be completed this way) and additional hours may be earned by working in our office, attending homeownership classes, helping at ReStore, and attending special events. At a minimum, each adult member must complete ten hours a month. A friend/family member may donate up to 50 hours toward each future homeowners' total sweat equity.
What are homeownership classes?
An important part of preparing partner families for the responsibilities and potential pitfalls of homeownership are the classes that we provide. There are at least three series of classes on the topics of Habitat Philosophy and Partnership, Financial Planning, and Home Maintenance and Neighborhood Development. Homebuyers are required to attend these classes (counted towards sweat equity hours).
How big will my house be?
House size depends on the number of household members who will be living there. The following is the maximum square footage for each house size: 900 square feet for a two-bedroom house, 1070 square feet for a three bedroom house, 1230 square feet for a four-bedroom house, and 1400 square feet for a five-bedroom house. The square foot numbers describe living space not including stairwells, crawl space and exterior storage.
What does the floor plan look like?
The size and floor-plan for each home we build is determined by the number of household members and the location of the build. Habitat provides a standard floor plan for each size house, which might need to be adapted to meet special needs of the lot or particular considerations of the homebuyer. All adjustments to floor plans are minimal and there is no guarantee that we can meet all the desires of the homebuyer.
Am I able to customize my home?
Yes, there are some customizable choices for your home. Every homeowner can choose at no cost:
Vinyl siding and exterior door colors
Countertop and cabinet colors for kitchen
Phone and cable jack locations
Carpeting and vinyl flooring colors/options
If possible, some minimal changes to the basic floor plan
Can I pay for additional customization?
In an effort to personalize and beautify the home while still staying true to Habitat’s mission of building simple, decent, affordable housing each future homeowner may choose to add certain custom options. Examples of these options include: dishwasher, washer and dryer, ceiling fans, an extra window, etc. Homeowners can customize their homes further as desired after they sign their mortgage and take ownership of the home.
Are Habitat homes built 'green'?
In a further effort to ensure affordable housing, we have focused on building energy efficient homes. All of our homes are up to Energy-Star standards, utilize energy-efficient appliances, and we are making steady progress towards even higher levels of green certification. This commitment helps not only the environment, but it also helps create sustained energy savings for our homebuyers.
The homes built in our third neighborhood, Osage Place, will have a special focus on energy efficiency, and are being built to the Zero Energy Ready standard which includes the wiring for photovoltaic solar panels. They will also include high efficiency heating and cooling and water-conserving plumbing fixtures.
You may contact the office for a comprehensive list of house features.
Does my house come with any warranty?
There is a one-year warranty on all work done by Habitat. This warranty excludes damage resulting from wear and tear. There is also a one-year warranty on all subcontracted work such as plumbing, electrical, and heating and cooling.
What if I need or want to sell my house?
We hope that you'll enjoy your home for (at least) the extent of the mortgage, but understand family circumstances change. If you need/want to sell your home before you've fully paid off your mortgage, Habitat has the first right to buy your home. In these cases, we are the able to resell the home (after some - hopefully minor - repairs and renovations) to another Habitat family at a fraction of the cost and time of a traditional new construction build.
More specific guidelines will be shared at the Homeowner Information Meetings, your Orientation (if accepted0, and before closing on your home.
You may contact the office for more specific information.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or sources of income.