Applying for Home Ownership

How Does It Work?

Habitat for Humanity helps people become homeowners! Here’s how it works:

  • The program accepts applications from people living in substandard housing that meet the income guidelines. We use a general guideline that is 30-50% of the median income.
  • The application is reviewed by the Family Selection Committee.
  • If the guidelines are met, a home visit is set up.
  • If accepted, the new “Habitat Partner Family” puts in a minimum of 200 hours of volunteer labor (sweat equity) to help build their home.
  • The Family purchases the home at cost through an affordable mortgage.

Information that must be included with the application includes:

  • Income verification
  • Tax returns
  • A statement on the family’s need for housing
  • A credit report

The selection of families will be done in a way that does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, age, handicap, religion, marital status or because all or part of the applicant’s income is derived from public assistance.


Application Windows

Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity will open an application period annually, resources permitting. During the open application period information and application meetings will be conducted in public areas throughout LAHFH’s service area, and application materials will be provided at those meetings for anyone interested in applying.  Information will be provided at the meetings about selection criteria, the selection process, and the selection timeline.

Applications are available at the meetings and are not available at the LAHFH office.

Family Selection Criteria

1.  Need
You must demonstrate that you have a need for adequate housing. Your current housing must be inadequate. Some of the things that are considered inadequate are:

  • Structural problems
  • Plumbing problems
  • Heating problems
  • Electrical problems
  • Overcrowded

LAHFH also looks at how affordable your current house is.

2.  Ability to Pay
You will be buying your home from LAHFH, so you must show your ability to pay the monthly mortgage payment. The mortgage payment includes:

  • Principal payment
  • Real estate taxes
  • Insurance

You must be willing to openly discuss your financial situation with members from the Family Selection Committee. You are required to pay a down payment that will not exceed $750.

3.  Willingness to Partner
We don’t build a house for you; we build a house with you. As a partner family, you must complete at least 200 hours of “sweat equity”. Sweat equity includes:

  • Your help in building your home
  • Attendance at homeowner education classes
  • Volunteering at the ReStore
  • Working at other LAHFH events or home builds

You must also:

  • Make payments on time
  • Be a good neighbor
  • Be a responsible homeowner

Once moved in, you will be responsible for the maintenance and repairs of your house. We also hope and believe you will want to continue being a part of the miracle of Habitat for Humanity.

For further information contact: Tom Hice, Family Services Director   Phone: 218-828-8517

Contact Us

This is not an application form. Please fill this form out if you would like Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity staff to reach out about our next partner application window.