Do you qualify for a home through New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity?
We’re here to help you find out.
Need for Housing
You will be considered for a Habitat home if your present housing is not adequate, and if you are unable to obtain adequate housing through other conventional means.
Lack of adequate housing may include problems with the present structure of your home; problems with your water, electrical or sewerage service systems; problems with your heating system; hazardous substances, or failure to meet city property maintenance standards. You may also meet the need for housing qualification if you are living in an overcrowded or unaffordable situation.
If you are living in transitional or subsidized housing, such as Section 8, you may qualify. Though your Section 8 voucher will not apply to your mortgage, we will make sure your payments do not exceed 30% of your income, which is similar to how Section 8 vouchers work.
Ability to Pay
As you will be buying your house from Habitat, you must show an ability to pay the monthly mortgage payment on your home. This monthly payment includes mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance payments, and a termite contract. We will help you to determine if this payment will make it harder to meet all your other family financial obligations and expenses.
Partner families must save $225 a month in escrow during their partnership year to cover their first year of payments on their new home. The total amount is due at closing.
You must have at least two years of stable income coming into your household. We can include non-work related income such as food stamps, disability payments, Social Security, etc. as stable income if you can guarantee you will receive that income for the next two years. The minimum required income before taxes for a family between one and six people is $1,700 per month, or $20,400 per year. For information on the maximum income per family size, please call our homeowner hotline at 504-609-3340.
All applicants will undergo a credit check. Because we are interested in your access to homeownership, we are not as strict in your credit review as a bank might be. If there has been a bankruptcy in your past, it needs to be discharged for at least two years and you must demonstrate improved credit since then. If you have a court judgment resulting in a fine or settlement that is still unpaid, the judgment must be paid off in full. You must have less than $2,000 in past due debt to move forward in the application process. We do not count medical debt that is 18 months or older.
Willingness to Participate as a Partner with Habitat
Once you have been selected to receive a home, you become a “partner family.” This partnership is a unique characteristic of our program in that you contribute to your ongoing eligibility through “equity.” This means that your family is responsible for completing 350 volunteer hours with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity in place of a down payment. This sweat equity hour requirement can be completed during site construction on current homes and by attending homeowner classes. Sweat Equity is a fun way to stay involved with both the Habitat community and the process of completing your future home.
If you meet our criteria and would like more information:
- You may complete an Online Family Services Application. If you prefer, you can wait to fill this out at your intake meeting. A copy will be provided at the meeting.
- Schedule an intake meeting with one of our Family Services Case Managers by calling the Homeowner Hotline at (504) 609-3340. If you filled out the form above with your contact information and sent it in, our Family Services representatives will contact you to schedule a meeting.
- Our Family Selection Committee will review your application and conduct a home visit to determine your approval for the homeownership program.
- Once approved, you will be asked to sign a Partnership Agreement.
- You are then eligible to start earning sweat equity.
- Once your family complete 50 sweat equity hours, you will be eligible to see the list of lots available for construction of your home.
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, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, or sources of income.