How does Habitat for Humanity homeownership work?

Families in need of decent, affordable housing apply for homeownership with Wild Rivers Habitat for Humanity (WRHFH).

The WRHFH selects homeowners based on four criteria:

  • The applicant’s level of need.
  • Their willingness to partner with Habitat.
  • Their ability to repay a mortgage through an affordable payment plan.
  •  At least 6 months residency or employment in WRHFH’s service area 

Homeownership Criteria

Need for Housing

The applicant(s) must demonstrate that their current housing situation has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Unsafe or very poor conditions or located in a particularly unsafe area;
  • Rent, or contribution currently paid towards rent, exceeds 35% of net income;
  • Size in inadequate for the present or anticipated residents;
  • Other facts demonstrating a need for the type of housing Habitat can provide, that goes beyond a personal desire to own a home.

Applicants will not be approved if they:

  • Qualify for conventional financing
  • Presently own real estate
  • Have owned real estate within the last three (3) years.

Eligible applicants are not disqualified because they may qualify for another subsidy program, governmental or charitable, or tax deferral.

Demonstrated Ability to Pay

  •  Gross household income must be between 30% and 60% of the median income for the County (Burnett, Polk, Rusk or Washburn) at the time of application.
  • A two-year history of stable income and employment;
  • An acceptable credit history, which includes a good record of paying rent and utilities;
  • Bankruptcies must have been discharged for at least three (3) years;
  • Ability to cover closing costs and adjustments,such a downpayment of $1500 paid on monthly in the amount of $100 payments;
  • Ability to afford anticipated mortgage payments, including property taxes and homeowners insurance;
  • Monthly payments for debt cannot exceed 20% of net monthly income;
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Willingness to Partner

  •  Applicant must complete at least  100 hours for single person/ 175 hours for a couple; of sweat equity directly towards the building of Habitat homes. Each primary applicant must complete a minimum of 30 hours per month. Applicant must comply with all other sweat equity policies;
  • Applicant must be willing to live in a neighborhood in which Habitat is currently building;
  • Applicant must be willing to attend required workshops for success in homeownership.

 Habitat for Humanity follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing Habitat’s homeowners.

To carry out our vision, we partner with individuals and families from application through construction to when the keys are handed over. Habitat homes are not free. A homeowner typically does 300 to 500 hours of sweat equity and after closing pays a mortgage on a zero to low-percent interest loan (the mortgage payment includes an amount that is escrowed for house insurance and property taxes).

By working with us from beginning to end, we can help prospective individuals prepare for the various responsibilities of homeownership, including learning about personal finances, mortgages, maintenance and upkeep of homes, and much more.

Habitat’s path to home ownership is an important and in depth process, requiring hard work, time and dedication. But this helps to ensure the long-term success of Habitat homeowners. 

Our application is available to download at  https://wildrivershabitat.org/apply-for-a-habitat-home 

If you have any question's, please contact our office at 715-939-1390.

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