Families are selected based on 3 criteria:
- Need for Shelter
- Ability to Pay an Affordable Mortgage
- Willingness to Partner
Need for Shelter:
The need for adequate shelter is measured by the condition of the family’s current housing including the structural safety, integrity, and mechanical function of the home. Also considered is the size of the living quarters, whether the situation is temporary, the cost of housing, and the family’s income.
Ability to Pay:
Applicants must have an income. Siouxland Habitat for Humanity serves families whose incomes are between 40-80% of the area median income (AMI), as defined for each of our counties served by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). For income guidelines please refer to the Woodbury and Sioux County Average Median Income Charts below. No more than 30% of selected families’ income will go towards the mortgage and escrow payment. In determining a family's ability to pay we do a full financial profile including the family’s debt to income ratio; monthly payment consistency, credit score, and history of bankruptcy, liens, and judgments.
Selected Partner Families are also expected to prepay one year’s homeowner insurance prior to closing and provide $1,500 at the time of closing for closing costs and down payment.
Willingness to Partner:
Families are expected to be engaged and willing participants in the home ownership process before, during and after the home buying process. Applicant families are willing to have a home visit to help determine their need, provide necessary documentation and references throughout the process, complete required educational classes geared toward successful home ownership and financial independence. In addition, families are expected to contribute "sweat equity" hours (volunteer hours) before they close on their new home.
What is sweat equity? Sweat equity is the hands-on involvement of future homeowner families (Partner Families) in the construction of Habitat homes. Every family selected by Habitat must complete sweat equity hours. The following are required by each family:
- 250 hours total per single adult family-each household member over the age of 16 years old must contribute to the total hours.
- 400 hours per two “or more” adult family- each household member over the age of 16 years old must contribute to the total hours.
At least half of the hours must be completed on home construction.
Some hours also can be used for non-construction activities; i.e. attendance for required educational workshops, attendance of approved budgeting/finance classes, home repairs/construction classes through other organizations, work on a Habitat committee, fundraising event, speaking on behalf of Habitat at a scheduled speaking engagement or volunteering at the ReStore. Sweat equity hours are tracked and all hours must be completed before purchasing the home.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS AND CONSIDERATIONS:
- Applicant(s) must not be able to qualify for a conventional home loan
- Applicant(s) must have lived or worked in Dakota, Plymouth, Sioux, Woodbury or Union counties for the last 12 months
- Applicant(s) must be US Citizens or have Legal Permanent Resident Status; this requirement does not necessarily apply to all residents in the dwelling (unless specific forms of funding requires it)
- Applicant(s) cannot have filed bankruptcy within the past two years.
- Families are selected by the Family Selection Committee, which is made up of Siouxland Habitat for Humanity board members and volunteer community members
- A typical selected family will spend between 8 and 12 months with Habitat before they get the keys to their new home
AVERAGE MEDIAN INCOME CHART FOR WOODBURY COUNTY
AVERAGE MEDIAN INCOME CHART FOR SIOUX COUNTY