Pope Francis Build 2015

Habitat selection criteria

Program Summary

The Habitat home ownership program offers a hand up, not a hand out. As a nonprofit, Habitat for Humanity relies on the support of our local community. Our goal is to provide affordable housing for low-income homebuyers who would not otherwise be able to afford home ownership or a home loan.

To Qualify

In order to be considered, applicants must be living or working in our service area (Lincoln, Minnehaha or Turner counties) for the 12 months preceding the application drive.

All applicants who meet the above general requirement are screened for our program based on the three criteria outlined below. Applicants must meet all of our requirements for all three criteria in order to qualify.

  1. NEED

    Applicants must have a housing need – current housing is inadequate, substandard or unaffordable. Applicants must also have a financial need and fall within 30%-60% of area median income (before taxes and deductions). Income from all sources, with the exception of SNAP income, is counted.

2019 Income Guidelines (numbers are from 2019 HUD Income Limits for our service area, which includes Lincoln, Minnehaha and Turner counties)



Number of people living in household 30% AMI (Minimum income) 60% AMI (Maximum income)
1 $18,100 $36,250
2 $20,700 $41,400
3 $23,300 $46,600
4 $25,850 $51,750
5 $30,170 $55,900
6 $34,590 $60,050
7 $39,010 $64,200
8 $43,430 $68,350
9 $47,850 $72,450
10 $52,270 $76,600

    The applicant and co-applicant (if any) will become the owners of the Habitat home and will be committing to repay the loans for the Habitat home.

    • Steady, reliable and verifiable source(s) of income. The income should be expected to continue for at least 3 years. SNAP income is not counted into income calculations.
    • A credit history or rental/payment history showing minimal late payments within the past 2 years. (If the applicant has a credit score, it must be 580 or higher).
    • Past-due debt in collections, county liens and judgments cannot exceed $3,000, as the entire balance of these debts must be paid in full before purchasing the Habitat home.
    • Bankruptcy needs to be discharged a minimum of 1 year with good payment history since discharge.
    • Must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent legal resident.

    Selected applicants will become homebuyer partners and will sign a partnership agreement, committing to:

    • Complete a minimum of 300 sweat equity hours. Household members age 16 and older can contribute toward the sweat equity hours.
    • Complete a series of homebuyer education classes and workshops.
    • Maintain or improve financial situation throughout the course of partnership.
    • Purchase a Habitat home and make regular monthly mortgage payments for the entire loan term (maximum term is 30 years). Habitat homeowner mortgage payments go into our Fund for Humanity to help us build more homes! Our homeowners pay it forward by helping Habitat make our program available to future applicants!
How Many Applicants are Selected?

The number of applicants selected is based on the number of homes Habitat intends to build for the next construction season.  We typically have more qualified applicants than we have openings.  If you qualify but are not selected, you can apply again. Each application drive is a new opportunity for all applicants.

Habitat does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, age, handicap, religion, family status, national origin, or income derived from public assistance programs.