Habitat selection criteria

Habitat selection criteria

Program Overview

To qualify, applicants must meet the residency requirements and all three selection criteria: 

  1. Need
  2. Ability to Pay
  3. Willingness to Partner

Residency Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident.
  • Must be living or working within Minnehaha, Lincoln, or Turner county since July 1, 2021.

Need Criteria

  • Annual gross household income must fall within Habitat’s income guidelines. Special eligibility applicants (veterans, teachers, first responders, and frontline healthcare workers) are allowed a higher annual gross income.

2022 Income Guidelines

  • Must have a housing need, such as current housing is unaffordable, inadequate, unsafe, temporary, subsidized, or applicants cannot qualify for a sufficient mortgage loan.

2022 Special Eligibility Definitions & Income Guidelines (Click on a group below)

Ability to Pay – Financial Criteria

  • Income: From initial application to loan closing, applicant(s) must maintain an annual gross income that meets the income guidelines.
  • Credit Score: Minimum 580, for applicants with established credit. Applicants with no credit/invisible credit must have at least three sources of verifiable 12-month payment history (rent, utilities, etc.)
  • Debt-to-Income: Monthly debt payments cannot be more than 18% of gross monthly income. For student loan debt in deferment or forbearance, 0.5% of the loan balance will be counted toward monthly debt. Example: $50,000 loan balance = $250 monthly debt payment.
  • Collections, Judgments, County Aid Liens: Total derogatory debt cannot exceed $3,000.
  • Savings: Able and willing to save $2000 to cover closing costs.
  • Bankruptcy: Minimum of 2 years since bankruptcy discharge, with good payment history since bankruptcy discharge.

Willingness to Partner Criteria

  • Must notify Habitat of any changes to the household size or any changes to employment, income, or debt that occur during the housing and loan application processes.
  • Must earn 300 hours of sweat equity* (per household) before becoming eligible to purchase a home. Friends, family, and community members can donate hours to help you achieve this goal.
  • Must attend required homebuyer education classes.
  • Willing to accept the neighborhood and lot assignment that is offered by Habitat. The budget, floor plan, building materials, and style of the home are determined by Habitat.*
  • Willing to make monthly mortgage payments and be responsible for all home maintenance and repairs after the home purchase.

*Reasonable accommodations or modifications for ADA are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Habitat does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, age, handicap, religion, family status, national origin, or income derived from public assistance programs.