Home Ownership Family Selection Criteria and Application

Habitat for Humanity Allegheny Valley is a Christian housing ministry financed through private and public donations and utilizing volunteer labor. Our purpose is to build homes partnering with families and sell the houses at no profit and charging no interest for families who could not otherwise afford a home.

Please read the following items to see if you have an interest in our ministry and see if you meet our general guidelines:

You are a family in need of a decent home

You are living in substandard or overcrowded housing conditions. You cannot afford or cannot find a better place to live.

You have a regular income of at least $13,650 per year (see income guidelines)

Habitat homeowners have modest but steady incomes. A family of two must have a yearly income of at least $15,600.
All sources of income are counted; pension, disability, food stamps, child support or any other forms of income.

You are not able to buy a home using a bank or one of the other home buyer programs in our area.

You can afford to pay approximately $500 each month for mortgage payments which includes taxes and insurance and another approximately $150 for your utilities.

You can also save $1000.00 to pay towards closing costs. You will have some time to save this money before closing if your family is selected. With your permission, we will verify employment and other income, verify checking and savings account balances, get a statement from your current and previous landlords, have a credit check done, and ask you for credit references. We will also need the names of two people who know you and whom we can contact to provide statements about you.

You have a good credit history and/or are willing to participate in a credit counseling program to correct any problems.

Owning a home is a serious financial commitment. While Habitat houses are lower in cost than most other houses, they take years to pay for. Your family must be willing to make a long-term commitment. You may have previous debts, many families do. Habitat for Humanity Allegheny Valley looks for families who are repaying their loans on a regular basis. HFHAV asks all families to participate in credit counseling so that they learn to plan their finances and budget their incomes. That way, owning a home can be a joy instead of a burden.

You are comfortable with Habitat’s program and its mission.

Habitat is a Christian housing ministry. While HFHAV does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women, and people securing custody of children under the age of 18) or handicap (disability), it does expect homeowners to participate fully in our organization.

You have some skills to share or are willing to learn new ones.

Part of your down payment on your Habitat house is 350 hours of labor contributed by the applicant family. Some of these hours can be earned by attending an orientation and/or beginning Consumer Credit counseling classes.

The majority of these sweat equity hours, however, are earned by families as they help construct their own homes or homes of other Habitat future home owners. Habitat houses are built by many hands; volunteers often learn to hammer or paint on the jobs. You should expect to spend many hours getting dirty and learning to install siding, paint, install insulation, hang drywall or do one of many other building jobs. If you already know how, so much the better, but we all have to start somewhere. You can also contribute to the work of Habitat by volunteering in the ReStore, helping in the office, working with one of our committees, or volunteering in one of the fund raising programs.

You are willing to invest at least 8 hours of your time and labor before you can be accepted into partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

This is a good faith effort on your part. These 8 hours must be performed before the committee will take your recommendation to the board and the hours will count towards your 350 hours of “sweat equity” needed before closing on your house.

You are willing to participate publicly in the work of Habitat.

Many news and television stories are written about Habitat for Humanity Allegheny Valley. Speakers share its mission with churches, community groups and other organizations. HFHAV needs the help of all our volunteers and homeowners to spread the good word about our affiliate. The more hands holding hammers, the more houses we can build.

If you answered "yes" to most of these questions, you may well quality as a Habitat Homeowner!

Fill out the pre-application today!