► The Application Process
1. Fill out the homeowner inquiry form – This information will be entered in our “Homeowner Inquiry” database. NOTE: Your contact information will be kept active in our database for one year. To remain active in our database, you will need to resubmit your information each year by January 31st. Of course, if your contact information changes at any time, please let us know.
2. Effective October 1, 2016, South County Habitat will require all prospective habitat homeowners to have attended and completed a Pre-purchase Homebuyer Education Workshop prior to applying for homeownership with South County Habitat for Humanity. Click here to locate a class near you.
Once you have completed the course, please send a copy of your certificate of completion to South County Habitat.
Each time a home becomes available, either a new build or rehabilitated home, we will announce an open application period for those homes. You will find the announcement posted on our website at www.southcountyhabitat.org as well as, via email or mailed to your home address. Once application periods have been announced, contact our office to schedule an application appointment. Prior to your appointment we will provide you with a list of documents to bring to your application appointment.
NOTE: All interested applicants must attend and complete a Pre-purchase Homebuyer Education Workshop and send a copy of their certificate of completion to South County Habitat before submitting an application.
3. If it is determined that you qualify financially, a home visit will be scheduled by the Family Selection Committee to verify your current housing conditions. The application is not considered complete until the home visit has been made.
4. You will be notified as soon as possible by the Family Selection Committee regarding your status as a potential Homeowner (the number of applicants applying for a particular project can lengthen the period required to process the applications and to choose the potential Homeowner Family—please be patient.)
►Building in Partnership
1. The Partner Family will be notified they have been accepted.
2. The Partner Family is matched to a Family Support Partner, someone familiar with Habitat who will help with questions and problems, be supportive to the family, and serve as an advocate. This partnership starts when a Partner Family is selected and lasts through the first six months of home occupancy.
3. Each adult applicant must work a minimum of 12 hours per month sweat equity on their home, 2/3 of the Partner Family’s sweat equity should be completed at a building site. Failure to complete minimum monthly sweat equity requirements can result in dismissal from the program.
4. At its discretion, the Partner Family may deposit money into an escrow account for the down payment and closing costs on the home. The down payment is 1% of the price of the home. Paying this gradually over the period that the sweat equity is being worked is the best way to demonstrate ability to budget. The money is held in escrow until the closing. If for any reason the closing does not occur, all escrow money is refunded.
5. The Partner Family is required to participate in a Homeownership Education program before moving into a Habitat home. It is the Partner Family’s responsibility to contact Habitat regarding approved programs and to make the necessary contacts to enroll. The hours attending the program count towards sweat equity as long as the Partner Family submits proper supporting documents to SCHH.
6. The family meets with the Director of Operations to discuss any Habitat approved house options.
7. A Certificate of Occupancy must be issued by the municipality before occupancy.
►Living the Partnership
1. The closing is held. All legal documents are signed, closing costs are paid, and mortgage terms are finalized. The monthly housing payment depends on the tax rate in the area, the value of the home, maintenance and insurance escrows, ground lease fees, or other variables.
2. A Home Dedication Ceremony is held. This is a celebration with participation by the Partner Family, the Family Support Partner, Habitat volunteers and supporters. There will be prayers, the gift of a Bible and other presentations, and refreshments. The home will be open so that those who have helped in its construction and other supporters may see the completed project.
3. The family moves into a decent, affordable, energy-efficient home, built by their own hands and the hands of countless volunteers, and is now part of the greater Habitat family. Each mortgage payment helps make the home ownership dream come true for new Habitat families.
4. Habitat Partner Families are good community neighbors and keep their homes and yards well-maintained and thus provide positive public relations for Habitat that encourages the community to supply the resources necessary for SCHH to build more homes for people in need.
5. Habitat Partner Families continue to be good partners by:
- Paying their mortgage on time
- Participating in making their community the best it can be
6. Habitat Families are encouraged to continue:
- Supporting and staying involved with Habitat for Humanity
- Promoting Habitat’s solicitations, programs and projects
- Acquainting others with Habitat and its mission