Habitat selects “partner families” to become Habitat homeowners. Habitat for Humanity follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing partner families. Partner families are always selected based on level of need, ability to pay and willingness to partner.
Applicants are required to meet several qualifications to ensure success. In general, prospective homeowners must:
Be citizens or legal residents.
Prove steady income.
Have good credit.
Earn a monthly income that falls within minimum and maximum limits, depending on household size.
In addition, each partner family will be required to:
Invest sweat-equity hours. Two-parent partner families work 400 sweat equity hours. Single-parent families work 300 sweat equity hours. The families must finish half of the sweat equity before construction on their house can begin and all of the hours must be completed before they can move in. That sweat equity can include work on Habitat houses, self-improvement classes (such as financial management, insurance planning and home care) and volunteer service to the community and Habitat, as long as it is approved by Habitat. Up to 1/3 of the required hours can be completed by extended family and friends.
Attend homeowner education classes.
Habitat partner families comprise hard-working people who are living in substandard housing. These families, selected by Habitat for Humanity of Dubois County, have enough income to pay for a Habitat house, but not enough income to get out of bad housing. They are willing to work to help build their house and the houses of other Habitat partner families. Committees of Habitat do extensive screening of applicants based on a set of standards, including income guidelines, established by Habitat International and the local Habitat board. Habitat families are called partner families because we become partners with them to help build their homes.
Habitat does not "give away" a house.The partner family pays for the house. It is affordable for two reasons. First, most of the labor is volunteer and the families are not charged for that. Second, the mortgages are interest-free.