About The Process
An affordable home is within reach with a 0% interest mortgage through the Habitat Homeownership program.
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties builds and sells homes at no profit and no interest to households who do not qualify for a traditional mortgage. The program prepares homeowner partners to be successful homeowners through an education curriculum of 20 classes, from budgeting to home maintenance.
To apply for a home, you must meet the following criteria*:
- Have a housing need. Are you living in conditions such as:
- Overcrowded conditions
- Paying a very high percentage of your income for rent (more than 30 percent)
- Unsafe, unsanitary conditions
- Substandard housing – with a leaky roof, poor heating or lacking proper plumbing
- Have lived or worked in Pinellas or Pasco for at least one year.
- Have one year of steady, reliable income.
- Meet other necessary income-related qualifications include a sufficient debt-to-income ratio, etc.
- Have reasonably good credit. We don’t require perfect credit. We consider families who demonstrate the ability to make regular payments on their bills.
You can find more affordable housing information by visiting www.floridahousingsearch.org.
You must fit within our specific income ranges below and meet other income – related guidelines:
|# IN HOUSEHOLD||MINIMUM YEARLY INCOME (GROSS)||MAXIMUM YEARLY INCOME (GROSS)|
*HUD Requirements 2020
The income level required is based on the number of people who would be living in the home. This is between 30 percent and 75 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) for Pinellas County (the numbers are based on guidelines adjusted each year and defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)). These figures include all forms of income: employment, public assistance, social security, disability, child support, etc. The ranges above reflect the 2020 HUD guidelines.
Review our Homeowner Screening and Qualification Process outline for more details.
Consider the following:
Part of the application process includes a 15 minute Homeowner Orientation where applicants get lots of information and the opportunity to ask questions. Attendance of the Homeowner Orientation class is required in order to receive an Application for Homeownership.
Types of Homes Available
Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco builds single-family homes and townhouses. All homes come with our standard Homeowners Warranty and are Energy Star rated. Depending on the size of your family when you apply, we build homes with two to six bedrooms and one or two bathrooms.
Choosing a Location
Habitat for Humanity builds throughout Pinellas and Pasco counties, in places where we can find affordable land. The Application for Homeownership includes a section where you choose a location preference. Once you have completed 100 hours of sweat equity, we will meet with you to review available locations.
How Long Does the Program Take?
The length of time it takes to complete the program varies and is really dependent on how quickly you can meet your requirements. You must attend 20 homeownership classes, complete 350 to 450 sweat equity hours and save for closing costs ($1000) and for your first year’s insurance (approximately $1,000 to $1,500). On average, homeowner candidates take one year to complete our program. Some candidates have done it in half that time, and others have taken two or more years. To keep you on track, you are required to put in a minimum number of hours each month and attend at least two classes each quarter.
What Makes a Habitat Home Affordable?
Because of volunteer labor and donations from organizations and individuals, Habitat homes are sold to homeowners at no profit. Also, they are financed with a zero-interest, 25- to 35-year mortgage.
How Much Will My Mortgage Payments Be?
The cost of your mortgage payments will depend on the value of the land and the size of the home. This cost includes property taxes and homeowners’ insurance.
Earning Sweat Equity
Sweat equity is a new homeowner investing in their home or one for another family. It’s not a form of payment, but an opportunity to work alongside volunteers who give their time to bring to life a family’s dream of owning a home. Hours can be earned by volunteering on our construction sites, in the Habitat offices and at Habitat’s ReStores.
How to apply:
The next step is to complete a 15 minute online orientation session. At the end of the orientation you will have the opportunity to register to attend one of our Homebuyer Application Sessions at the Habitat for Humanity administrative offices where you will complete an application screening to learn if you are eligible for selection into the Habitat for Humanity program.
Once you are approved:
You will be asked to sign a Covenant, or Partnership Agreement, which states the specifics of the program and your roles and responsibilities.
Sweat equity begins. Single-adult households are required to complete a minimum of 350 sweat equity hours. Multiple-adult households are required to complete a minimum of 450 sweat equity hours. Homeowner candidates work in the office and on other families’ homes, before starting their own home.
You must complete 20 homeownership classes and contribute $1000 toward closing costs. This is accomplished with monthly payments of $80. You will also be required to have homeowners insurance paid in full at the time of closing (a cost of approximately $1,000 – $1,500).
The Habitat Pinellas and West Pasco Homeowner Education Program is presented by:
For those that do not fit the qualifications of the homeownership program, we have put together a list of additional area resources.
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.