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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 at fair market value through a 30-year mortgage at 0% interest.

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

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

  • You are at least 19 years old.

  • You are U.S. citizen or a legal resident of the U.S.

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Need for Better Housing

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 

  • Ability to make a mortgage payment of $550-$650 per month (cannot exceed 30% of gross income)

  • An acceptable level of debt (this includes car payments, credit card minimum payments, student loans, etc.)

  • No active liens, judgements, or garnishments

  • Non-medical collections must be less than $2,000

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

Willingness to Partner

A unique aspect of our program is that families partner with community members, friends, and neighbors, and Habitat to build their own home and other families’ homes. This is called “sweat equity.”

Homebuyers must:

  • Be willing to complete 250 - 350 hours of sweat equity 

  • Make a down payment of $1,000 ($200 is due upon acceptance)

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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 HUD's Area Median Income.

Homeownership Application Process 

① Attend a Virtual Orientation Session 

(2022 sessions are complete -- 2023 sessions TBA)

② Submit your application by the deadline


③ Complete an in-person application interview

④ Family Selection Committee home visit to determine

willingness to partner and need

 ⑤ Family Selection Committee and Board of Directors Review

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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.

fall 2022 application process
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