QUESTION: Does Washington County Habitat for Humanity give any houses away?
ANSWER: WCHH builds houses for low income families that cannot get a mortgage on a house from a regular bank.
An interest free loan and the use of volunteer labor results in very significant cost savings for the families that buy these homes.
However, WCHH does not give houses away. The idea is to give people a “hands-up” to achieve their home-owners dreams.
QUESTION: What should my income be to qualify for a Habitat home in Washington County?
ANSWER: The short answer you may hear from Habitat affiliates and Habitat International is (roughly) 30% to 60% of the median income ($56800 in 2010/2011 per year for Washington County. This 30% to 60% range is highly dependent on family size. The range translates into $1420 to $2840 as your monthly income to qualify.
However, WCHH uses a slightly higher income guide and income figures around $2000 to $2600 per month.
. The houses WCHH builds are two/three bedroom houses for an average sized family. This means that a one or two person family that might have qualified at the lower income levels still does not qualify for reasons that WCHH does not build such smaller accommodation. A successful application at WCHH will therefore most likely fall in the higher income range. In other words, somewhere around $2500 and higher per month.
An important consideration for WCHH is that the Affiliation does not think it fair, for both homeowner and WCHH, to knowingly provide a home to families that cannot really pay for it and run a large risk to end up in eviction procedures when homeowners are unable to meet their monthly financial obligations.
QUESTION: Does food stamps count as income?
ANSWER: Food stamps are a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and therefore are not counted as income.
QUESTION: Why is a Habitat house such a good deal?
ANSWER: Over the 20 year principal payment period a Habitat partner family pays about half (or even less) of the cost when compared to a “normally” build house with conventional financing.
QUESTION: How long do I have to wait before I can move in a new house?
ANWER: Right now there is no waiting list! So if you do qualify, you can most likely move into your new home within a year.
QUESTION: I am a single woman. I have no children. I have a regular job. Could I get a home from Habitat?
ANSWER: WCHH is a rather small Habitat affiliate. Nine houses have been built to date, all of which were 2/3 bedroom homes. We are simply too small to provide for houses suitable for single occupancy.
QUESTION: How does Habitat raise the capital for a new house?
Donations from local Churches, Business and individuals have thus far been the main source of revenue. As more and more house owners have been added over the years, their monthly principal payments are becoming an increasing source too.
Apart from that, Habitat affiliates share this income through the practice of tithing 10% of undesignated cash revenues toward international house-building efforts.
QUESTION: I have been waiting already for weeks for an answer to the application form I sent to your office?
ANSWER: We are an affiliate of Habitat which is entirely run by volunteer staff that is limited in the time they can spend on their volunteer work. Nevertheless, rest assured that you will get an answer to your questions and certainly to your application form.
QUESTION: What can I do if I don’t currently meet WCHH qualifications?
ANSWER: First and foremost;
1. Increase your income.
2. Repair your credit.
In addition you can talk to our family support committee members to discuss your specific circumstances.