Kirkland Family part 2.jpg
income guidelines homeownership.jpg

Homeownership Program Eligibility

Becoming a homeowner is a big step that can provide financial stability and a safe, healthy home for families to live and grow. How is purchasing a home through Habitat different than buying through a mortgage lender?

  • Habitat homes are sold to partner families on a 30-year mortgage at 0% interest

  • Habitat homes have an interior safe room that meet FEMA standards

  • Partner families work with staff and community members to build their homes and their neighbor's home. 

Are you interested in becoming a homeowner, but aren’t sure if you qualify for Habitat’s Homeownership Program? Below are our program guidelines. Every situation is unique, please contact us at 205-349-4629 if you have any questions.

General Guidelines

  • You have lived or worked in Tuscaloosa County for at least 6 months

  • You are NOT required to register as a sex offender in any jurisdiction

  • Other criminal offenses are considered on a case by case basis

Need for Better Housing

Applicants current housing situation is considered when reviewing your application. You may qualify for our Homeownership Program if ONE (1) of the following describes your current housing:

  • Unsafe or in poor condition

  • Overcrowded (not enough bedrooms for family members)

  • Temporary or subsidized housing

  • Costs more than 30% of your household income

  • Unsuitable 

Ability to Pay

Habitat houses are not free. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to make a monthly mortgage payment and handle routine repairs and maintenance to their home. In order to qualify, you will need:

  • A steady, reliable income that is within our income guidelines (see the chart)

  • Ability to make a mortgage payment of $475-575 per month (cannot exceed 30% of gross income)

  • An acceptable level of other debt (this includes car payments, furniture loans, personal loans, etc.)

  • A verifiable history of paying bills on-time (we will check your credit)

  • No active liens, judgements, or garnishments

  • Ability to pay off any collections (non-medical collections should be less than $2000)

  • Any previous bankruptcy or foreclosure has been discharged for at least 3 years

Amounts are based on gross income (before taxes). You can calculate your gross monthly income by dividing your yearly income (reg. income, bonuses, overtime, etc.) by 12. Habitat's income guidelines are adjusted yearly based on the HUD's Area Median Income.

Willingness to Partner

Habitat for Humanity partners with families in our program. A unique aspect of our program is that partner families work with staff members, community members, friends, and neighbors to build their own home and other families’ homes. This is called “sweat equity”.  Partner families complete their “sweat equity” by attending meetings and educational classes, volunteering on construction sites (including working on your own home) and the ReStore, and through other volunteer opportunities as available. Friends and family members can help you complete your hours. 

  • Willing to complete 250 hours of sweat equity for households with one adult 

  • Willing to complete 350 hours of sweat equity for households with 2 or more adults

  • Keep Habitat informed of any changes to your situation

  • Make a down payment of $1000 ($200 is due upon acceptance, balance can be paid in monthly payments)

Applications are being accepted until our program is full. Click here to access our Virtual Orientation and Application Request Form. If you have any questions or need assistance please contact us 205-349-4629 or email apps@habitattuscaloosa.org


  • Want to check your credit? Habitat for Humanity does not have a minimum credit score. However, we strongly suggest you review your credit report before you apply to check for errors or collections that need to be paid off. You can obtain a free copy of your report at annualcreditreport.com.