HOW DOES THE PROGRAM WORK?
Families apply for the opportunity to buy homes through our program and work through the application process with our Homebuyer Services Department. Once approved by the Board of Directors and accepted into the program, families will take classes and begin working their sweat equity hours on our construction sites, retail stores, in the office and get involve with other Habitat activities & events.
Homes are sold to the participating families at fair market value utilizing a combination of financing layers. Of those layers, the mortgage that requires a monthly payment is set to an affordable amount, not to exceed a third of the specific household's income. Volunteers and donors help make the rest of the process possible by giving their time and money to cover land, equipment, building materials, subcontractors, utility connections alongside the family with the actual construction of the home.
Demonstrated Need for Improved Housing
Potential homeowners must show that they have a current need for improved housing. A need for shelter can be determined by many factors such as lack of space, overcrowded housing, rental costs that are over 50% of a family's monthly income, unsafe living conditions, dangerous environment, problems with major utilities or other general structural problems.
Willingness to Partner
Purchasing a home through Habitat requires a commitment of time and energy. Habitat strives to select homeowners who will be active participants in the construction process and positive representatives of Habitat in the community. "Sweat equity" is the future homeowner's contribution of labor in the construction of their home. All selected future homeowners are required to complete 250 sweat equity hours per adult in order to move into their new home. These hours can be completed by the family working on their own home, working on the construction sites of other homes, working at the Habitat Store, or other Habitat for Humanity of Island County projects.
Ability to Pay
A future homeowner must have a steady source of income and they must demonstrate financial responsibility. Family income must fall within established Habitat income guidelines for the past three years.
HOMEOWNER INTEREST FORM
INTESTED IN AFFORDABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP?
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380 SE Pioneer Way, Ste. 103 Oak Harbor WA 98277
PO Box 2279
Oak Harbor, WA 98277
290 SE Pioneer Way
Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Please fill out the information below and we will contact you with details about our next informational meeting.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
Habitat for Humanity of Island County is currently in a CLOSED APPLICATION PERIOD for our Homeownership Program.
We will give community notice when the dates are selected to open the next application cycle.
1592 Main Street
Freeland, WA 98249
Habitat for Humanity of Island County is here to help you find the path to owning a home. We provide affordable homeownership opportunities for income-qualified families. Acceptance into the program must meet the following three (3) basic criteria:
Owning your own home...
Habitat helps that dream come true.
How do I get a ‘Habitat House?’
A common misconception with our program is families are getting a free home. It’s important to understand that Habitat for Humanity does not give away houses. Our homeownership program provides qualified applicants an opportunity to purchase a home that is affordable based on the family’s household income. Instead of “getting” a home –we can help you “buy” the home.
What kind of houses does Habitat build?
Every home constructed by Habitat for Humanity is simple, modest, affordable, and energy-efficient. The home is to be used solely as a primary residence and may not be subleased (no rentals.) The style is determined by the surrounding homes in the neighborhood and any covenants it may have. Most homes are less than 1,200 square feet. We build for the needs, not the wants of the buyer.
Will the homebuyer actually own the home?
Absolutely! The homebuyer will be the legal owner of the home and will have a mortgage obligation. Habitat for Humanity of Island County provides learning opportunities and resources for homebuyers that will better prepare for the transition of having a landlord to becoming a homeowner.
Are homeowners permitted to sell their Habitat house?
Yes. Often in life we experience events that makes moving necessary. As the homeowner, your move would require selling the home. Habitat for Humanity will assist with this process.
Will the homebuyer actually own the land?
No. One of the ingredients that goes into making the homes affordable is keeping the land in a 99 year, renewable, Community Land Trust. The sale is at a reduced price because only the home is purchased. Additionally, keeping the land in the Trust presents optimal funding opportunities and preserves affordability for future generations.
With the land in a trust, am I allowed to plant a garden, put up a fence, have pets, etc?
Yes. The homeowner will still adhere to any bylaws in place by the neighborhood association, and applicable City/County codes.
What is Sweat Equity?
Sweat Equity is the hands-on work the homebuyer will contribute to the construction or rehabilitation of the home. It also includes time spent volunteering in our stores and other non-construction projects. Each applicant is responsible for contributing a combination of 250 Sweat Equity hours prior to purchasing the home. Alternative tasks are available to accommodate disabilities on a case-by-case evaluation.