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Homeownership Program

Passaic County Habitat for Humanity builds and sells homes in partnership with low to moderate-income individuals and families.

How does the homeownership program work?

Our Homeownership Program provides quality homeownership opportunities to low to moderate-income individuals and families. We provide a hand-up, not a hand-out to qualifying applicants who may not be able to qualify for traditional mortgage options.

Applications are Closed

Applications for Passaic County Habitat's Homeownership Program are currently closed. You can join our email list to be notified when application cycles open using the form at the bottom of this page.

How do you qualify?
+ You’re able to pay an affordable mortgage. 
  • You have a steady income that meets income requirements.

  • Your debt and credit history pass our evaluation.

  • You must meet residency requirements.

  • You are unable to purchase a home through a bank or other programs.

  • You must pass a background check.

  • You cannot have owned a home for at least 3 years or be in bankruptcy.

  • You cannot have been foreclosed upon in the past 7 years. 

  • You must be able to cover or save for your downpayment and closing costs.  

Note: The number of qualified applicants may exceed the number of homes available for purchase during an application cycle. Unfortunately, we are not able to partner with all qualified applicants who apply. 

+ You're in need of better housing.

    Some examples of need include one or more of the following:


  • You’re spending over 30% of household income on housing.

  • Your current space is overcrowded.

  • You’re living in temporary/unstable housing.

  • You’re living in housing that is unsafe or has bad heating, poor plumbing, pests, and/or structural problems.

  • You have someone with special needs that are not being met by your current housing situation. 

 

​+Your income falls within the guidelines.
  • Each application cycle has its own set of income guidelines. This means there is a minimum gross annual income that must be met by the applicant(s) as well as a maximum household gross annual income that cannot be exceeded based on your household size. 

 

+ You’re willing to partner with us.
  • You complete all application materials honestly and submit requested documents throughout the process. 

  • You complete at least 200 hours of Sweat Equity per household. 

  • You must attend homeowner education courses. 

Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How often do you have applications open?

Our application cycles are set based on our current construction schedules. When we have a home or homes ready to build, applications become available. You can join our email list to be notified of any upcoming open application cycles using the form below. 

 

2. Can I apply as a single applicant if I am still legally married but living separately from my spouse?

No. If you are legally married, Habitat requires that both spouses be part of the application and apply as co-applicants. We cannot accept your application if you are separated but not legally divorced. Divorce must be final before an application is considered.

 

3. Can I apply if I have filed for bankruptcy?

Yes, but the bankruptcy release date must be at least 3 years old.

4. Do I have to be a US citizen to apply?

To apply you must be a US citizen or Permanent Resident. This applies to all applicants and co-applicants. 

 

5. Who can be a part of my household? How is my household size determined?

Individuals who are currently living together in the household can be considered when determining household size. A child is only considered in the household size if the applicant has at least 50% custody of that child. Legal guardianship documents must be provided for children you are raising but that are not your biological children. Minor children claimed on your Federal Tax Returns must be listed as dependents/household members on your application. We will require verification of custody of all minor children not claimed on your Federal Tax Returns but are listed on your application. If a person is pregnant during the application process, the unborn child will be counted towards the household size. 

6. What types of income are counted when I apply?
  • All adult household members' income is considered.

  • All forms of permanent income are included as a part of the household income and will be considered.

  • All income must be documented.

  • If an applicant or household member is receiving child support or alimony (and wants it to be considered), they must include a copy of the court order for those payments with their application.

  • If an applicant or household member is receiving SSI, Disability, TANF, or Social Security, they must provide a copy of a current monthly statement with their application.

  • Temporary income will not be considered.

  • Food stamps, SNAP, Section 8, and unemployment benefits are not counted as income.

 

​7. How do I verify my income if I get paid in cash?

In order to verify cash income, you must deposit earnings into the same bank account each time you get paid. The cash income must be reported on your IRS Form 1040 when you file taxes. ​​

8. Do I have to have a job to become a Habitat homeowner?

Habitat requires that you receive enough monthly income to be able to afford a Habitat home. Affordability is determined through income such as work, child support, SSI, or other sources. Your mortgage payment cannot exceed 30% of your total monthly income. Refer to application details for minimum income requirements.

 

9. Does Habitat require a certain score on a credit report?

Habitat may use credit scores as a basis for creditworthiness. We look at good debt and bad debt levels. "Good debt" is an account that is being paid on time; "bad debt" is an account that has gone to collections and/or charged off. In order to apply, your bad debt must be less than $1,000, except for medical collections.

10. If my credit is good, but my co-applicant's credit is not, can I apply?

Both applicants' credit will be subject to the same criteria.

11. Can I apply for a Habitat home if I previously owned another home?

Habitat for Humanity is a first time homebuyer program. If you owned a home in the past you will need to wait 3 years to become a first time homebuyer again.

12. If I am accepted into the program, how long before I purchase my home?

The typical time for completing the program is within 9-12 months, after which the purchase process begins. It depends on a variety of factors, including how long it takes you to complete all requirements, Habitat’s current construction schedule, and other considerations.

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Application Cycle Email Notification

Applications are currently closed. However, if you wish to be notified of future application cycles, you may submit your information using the form below. We will then notify you by email when applications reopen.

 

Please note that submitting your information does not constitute an application and does not guarantee a place in the program. It simply adds you to our notification list.

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