Habitat for Humanity of the Magic Valley empowers people who qualify to build or remodel and buy their own homes. Selected families commit to 300 to 500 hours of “sweat equity,” a reasonable down payment, personal finance workshops, and monthly mortgage payments set at no more than 30% of household income with 0% interest.
We have three minimum qualifications to be considered for a Habitat Home:
- A minimum of 1 year of qualifying income from the same source (e.g. same employer for one year or on disability for one year).
- The household’s income must be between 30% and 60% of the Median Income in the county you live in. Click here to see a chart of median income limits
- The applicant does not currently own, or has not owned a home within the last 3 years. Applicants who currently own a home or have recently owned a home may still apply, but will need to provide details on their homeownership and may be given a lower priority than people who have not recently owned a home.
To determine if you meet our minimum qualifications – and the first step in the application process, please fill out our on-line pre-application.
Habitat for Humanity of the Magic Valley looks to three things to decide if an applicant qualifies for a Habitat House, their need for adequate shelter, their ability to pay and their willingness to partner with Habitat.
A need for adequate shelter
A current lack of adequate shelter in terms of safety, overcrowding, or financial overburdening (overburdening is having to spend more than 30% of income for housing (rent plus water, electricity, gas). Individuals in subsidized housing are eligible even though their housing is adequate and affordable. The reasoning is that if this family is ready in all other aspects for a partnership with Habitat, giving them the opportunity for homeownership frees up a subsidized residence for someone who may not be ready for homeownership.
An ability to pay
Habitat homes are not given away; they are sold to families for the cost of construction with a no-interest mortgage. Habitat is looking for people who do not qualify for a commercial home loan but have an adequate income to make the low monthly, no-interest mortgage payment month after month. The continuation of the Habitat program in the Magic Valley depends on families paying their modest no-interest mortgage on time every month. The mortgage payments are used to build the next Habitat House. Habitat for Humanity of the Magic Valley looks at people in the 30-60% Area Median Income Adjusted for the size of applicant family. A higher median income can be considered if there are extenuating circumstances such as chronic illnesses or disabilities requiring extraordinary ongoing expenses. A good credit rating is not required. In many cases, Magic Valley Habitat applicants do not have a good credit rating – in reviewing credit reports we look for reasons such as medical bills and basic survival items, rather than consumer debt, and for trends indicating the family is getting their finances back on track. Any judgments against applicants would have to be satisfied prior to a family obtaining a Habitat home.
A willingness to partner
Applicants must be willing to complete 500 hours of sweat equity with Habitat for a newly constructed home, or 300 hours for a renovated home, working on their own home, on other families Habitat homes, or at the ReStore. Half of this time can be completed by relatives, friends, and church members on behalf of the Applicant. If working on the construction site is not feasible for the Applicant, the time can be spent on other Habitat functions such as updating mailing lists, representing Habitat at community functions, etc. In addition, Applicants need to attend up to 10 sessions on home ownership and agree to maintain their yards and neighborhoods in ways that reflect well on Habitat. Habitat families are sometimes interviewed by the press so partnership families must be knowledgeable about Habitat and try to be good representatives of Habitat.
Equal Housing Opportunity
Habitat for Humanity of the Magic Valley is an Equal Housing Opportunity provider. We do not look at religion, race, sexual preference, marital status (except as it poses a threat to clear title for the applicant), immigration status, police record, or source of income to determine eligibility. In the latter, we can look at the amount of income and the probable continuance of income. We can look at immigration status to the extent it would affect our ability to be repaid for the home.