"A hand UP, not a handout, to provide decent, affordable housing for deserving Lancaster families."

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Interested in becoming a Habitat Homeowner?

We are here to help qualified families build their own home. We are an Equal Opportunity lender. Family members work alongside Habitat volunteers and staff to build their home, and their "sweat equity" work is applied as part of the down payment on the house.

We sell completed homes to our homeowners at our cost, with a zero-interest mortgage. Families must demonstrate an ability to pay, and to be part of a community that's safe for all homeowners.

To qualify, families must have a minimum credit score of 650, pass a criminal background check, and not be listed on the sex offender registry. Minimum family income is determined by the number of family members, using current HUD median income data for Lancaster County.

We hold workshops for applicants when we have funding for another home. Date notices are published in the newspapers, and will be posted on our website. Our Family Selection committee verifies application information, interviews applicants and recommends selections to the Board of Directors. If you believe you may qualify, contact our office for more information at (803) 283-1203 or email info@habitatlancastersc.org.

Habitat for Humanity of Lancaster County is a housing ministry financed through private donations and utilizing volunteer labor Our purpose is to build homes with partner families and sell them at our cost with no profit and no interest to families who could not otherwise afford a standard home mortgage.

Please read the following items to see if you meet our general guidelines:

1. To qualify for the home, you must have enough income to support the cost of the home but not much more than Habitat's guidelines of 60% of the HUD median income for Lancaster County. The amount of income required depends on the family size and resulting home size, the home's final cost, property taxes, mortgage length and Insurance cost, and has to be estimated for each house. The maximum income is based on the "Low Income" category, as determined by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development). Potential homeowners must also have a minimum credit score of 650.

2. After receiving your signed application, which constitutes your permission, we will verify employment and other income, verify checking and savings account balances and get a statement from your current and previous landlords.

3. Your application fee of $30.00 covers a criminal background check, check of sex offender registry, and the generation of a complete and current credit history, as well as your credit score.

4. If approved for a Habitat home, you will be expected to Join in programs to learn and practice budgeting, home repair and home maintenance. The time spent on these programs will be credited to your sweat equity time. {see Item 5, below)

5. If approved for a Habitat home, each adult member of your household must work to complete the required amount of sweat equity hours on your home and other Habitat projects.

6. If approved for a Habitat home, you will be required to deposit a minimum of $50 per month from the day of signing your acceptance letter until the day of closing; these funds will be deposited into your escrow account, to apply toward closing costs. You will receive a detailed listing of funds needed prior to close. Escrow funds are amounts collected from you, usually along with your mortgage payment, toward the renewal of your homeowner's insurance, annual property taxes, and any other items covered by escrow funds. The total amount you will need at closing is generally between $1,500 and $2,000. Since your home may be completed prior to your escrow account balance being large enough to cover all closing costs, we encourage you to deposit more than the $50 minimum, to prevent any delays at closing

7. If you are approved for a home and you meet the sweat equity and savings requirements, the affiliate will sell you your home at our cost and provide a no-interest mortgage. An estimate of costs and other pertinent information will be included in your acceptance letter.

8. Since your house payments are used to help build more homes with other partner families, It is important that your payments are made in full and on time each month, on or before the due date.

If you are interested in becoming a Habitat homeowner and you believe you qualify for a home according to these guidelines, we encourage you to attend our Family Selection meeting, Assistance with the application process will be available at the meeting, and you can ask questions. When the meeting ls scheduled, it will be publicized In the community newspapers and on this web site's Family Selection page. You can also download the application form here.

The family accepted to receive a house through Habitat must realize this ls a highly publicized program and their home will be built with the efforts and help of the community. You are our Habitat partners/ambassadors, and your application is also considered permission to use photographs or testimonies of you and your family, to help generate interest and support for our mission

All Information from the application is confidential, to be used only for family selection by the Family Selection Committee. Families not initially accepted may reapply with the next application process. You will be notified within one week after the Selection Committee's recommendations are approved by the Board of Directors - generally within four to five weeks of the application deadline

Checklist for Habitat Homeowner Application

Please Provide:

1. Copies of documents proving current reportable income (paycheck stubs, Social Security letter, W-2, etc.)

2. Copies of monthly bills.

3. $30 Application fee. Fee payment covers report costs and authorizes us to obtain a full credit report with credit score, a national Criminal Background Check, and check of the Sex Offender Registry.

4. On the application, be sure to include a phone number where you can be reached, in case we have questions or need more information.

5. Failure to complete the application accurately and provide us with all requested information will result in your application being denied.