“Habitat has opened my eyes to the value of hard work, and to be a part of building your very own home makes you appreciate it even more!”, Tasha - Habitat Homeowner
Homeowner Orientation Class - March 9 | 6-7pm | 817 W. Pearl Street | Back west side of Love Inc. building
See important class information below.
meet our partner families
Our 2021 Community Build Applicant Homeowner is Blake, a single dad with 3 teenage children. Blake has been a dedicated, hardworking father and provider for his kids and will move Heaven and Earth to be with them. He currently lives in a 2-bedroom apartment in Indianapolis and works as a server at Cobblestone Grill in Zionsville, where he has been for 3 years. He applied for Habitat for Humanity of Boone County in 2019 and has been working hard with his Budget Coach, Deb, and Mentor, Margie. He is so thankful for their guidance through all the ups and downs of last year! He is so excited to have a home for stability for his kids, but also to work in his garden, BBQ, put up Christmas lights on the porch and hand out candy at Halloween. Blake says “I am ready for my life to be predictable and stable. I’m ready to have my forever home.”
They had a happy life in Aleppo, Syria. Mohamad was a cobbler, with his store in the space below their home, and Nisreen was busy raising their 3 children. The bombing in their neighborhood was fierce, destructive, and very unexpected. They lost everything they had worked so hard for and were forced to flee the country on foot with just a few clothes in bags. Mohamad’s mother had severe heart problems, so he lovingly carried her on his back many miles to the Turkish Border. At one point in their journey to safety, they had to walk for four hours on a 2-3-foot-wide path with deadly landmines on either side and their small children in tow. They arrived at the home of a relative’s house close to the border where they rested for three days. After crossing the Turkish border, they stayed with many others from their town – 18 in all – in a small room looking to start their lives over in this new country. Mohamad found a job as caretaker and eventually found a small house to rent. After settling into their new life, they applied through the United Nations for Refugee status to come to the United States. After five years, they were on a plane for the US – having added two children to their family and Nisreen pregnant with their sixth child. They arrived in Indianapolis and were set up in an apartment. The older children were enrolled in school in their Newcomer class to learn English. For the past three years, Nisreen has worked as an order packer at a local warehouse and Mohamad is navigating virtual schooling with their five children. They applied with Habitat for Humanity of Boone County with the dream of home ownership and a forever home. Their house will be built this summer in Lebanon, Indiana.
If you or someone you know is interested in applying to be a homeowner through Habitat for Humanity of Boone County, please consider our three basic criteria:
how to apply
Important Information for Orientation Classes - due to the room size:
Masks are required.
Only 2 members of a family are allowed into the classes.
Only 3 families total are allowed in each class.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!
1. need for housing
You will be considered in need of housing if your present housing is not adequate and if you are unable to obtain adequate housing through other conventional means. Lack of adequate housing may be demonstrated by problems with the present structure, problems with utility services, overcrowding, or unaffordable housing. If you are living in subsidized or transitional housing, such as Section 8, you may qualify.
2. ability to pay
You must be able to make monthly mortgage payments. Because Habitat for Humanity offers a “hand up, not a hand out,” homeowners must be able to afford to make monthly mortgage payments on their homes. This payment includes the mortgage, real estate taxes, and insurance payments. Habitat for Humanity of Boone County will help you determine if you are able to afford a home.
You must have a reasonable level of debt.
3. willingness to partner
Once you have been selected to receive a home, you will become a “partner family.” This partnership is a unique characteristic of Habitat for Humanity because it fosters cooperation and feelings of pride, ownership, and responsibility. In order to partner with Habitat, each adult family member in a household is responsible for completing 200 volunteer hours with Habitat for Humanity of Boone County. This “sweat equity” requirement can be completed during site construction on current homes, in the Habitat office, or at other local nonprofit organizations. Additionally, each partner family is expected to be cooperative and responsive when working with Habitat and to work in a spirit of understanding and open communication.
If you think you meet the three above criteria, you can then follow these steps!
attend an orientation meeting
The application process requires the attendance at one of our Orientation meetings. All potential individuals who will be on the mortgage must attend an Orientation meeting.
Meetings are held at 6PM on the second Tuesday of each month at our location. Click the map for our location.
fill out an application
Applications are available at the monthly orientation meetings, by contacting the Habitat office at 765-483-5134, or downloading the application below.
Our Family Selection Committee will then review your application and hold a home interview to determine your status for home ownership. Once approved you will be asked to make modest deposit toward your home.
earn sweat equity
Sweat equity is credit you are given for doing Habitat-related work and attending classes.
Each person on the mortgage will be required to complete a minimum of 200 hours of sweat equity. Most sweat equity hours are earned by working at construction sites. Additional hours can be earned by volunteering time at a local nonprofit organization.
steps to qualify
frequently asked questions
What does it take to become a Habitat homeowner?
There are three basic requirements:
1) You must currently be living in inadequate housing
2) You must have a minimum of $25,000 in total annual income
3) You must be willing to participate in the process
What is inadequate housing?
There is no single definition. It could be housing with little or no insulation, lots of people crowded into a small space, structural problems, neighborhood problems, or housing that is too expensive for one’s budget. One key question to ask yourself is “Would other people choose to live here in these conditions?”
What do I count in figuring my income?
All forms of income are included when figuring your income. You can count Child Support (if you receive it regularly), Food Stamps, and government payments in addition to W-2 wages and self-employment income.
What if my income does not reach the $25,000 minimum limit?
It is estimated that families need to earn at least $25,000 in income to become a successful homeowner and meet the house payments, utility bills, and household expenses. If you are not too far from this minimum goal, please come in and we will evaluate your situation.
How will I need to participate?
Your participation starts long before you actually move into a house. You will attend classes in home ownership and budgeting. All applicants will be required to attend the Finance classes and the Getting Ahead classes prior to board approval to receive your house. We will expect you to participate in the publicity for the building of your house and to actually work on your house and other homes in order to meet requirements for your sweat equity. We also ask you to let others know about Habitat for Humanity.
What is sweat equity?
How can I earn sweat equity hours?
How much does it cost to buy a Habitat house?
You will need a $500 down payment. The monthly cost for the house is in the $400-$500 range. Your payment includes taxes and insurance. You will make the payments for 25 years, after which the house will belong to you.
Who pays to build each house?
Habitat for Humanity of Boone County works with the priviate donars, Faith community, local businesses, and other organizations.to fund and build the houses. Other funding comes from grants and corporate sponsors.
How does the mortgage work?
Habitat for Humanity of Boone County builds and sells the home, under market value, to the homeowner applicant with a zero percent interest/25 year mortgage. This is no profit first mortgage. Habitat of Humanity of Boone County will require each homeowner to sign a second mortgage. The value of the second mortgage is the difference between the appraised value and the first mortgage. The second mortgage is forgiveable over the lifetime of the 25 year mortgage. The homeowner will not make payments on the second however it will need to be paid back if the homeowner sells.
What kind of interest rate do I pay on the mortgage?
Habitat for Humanity does not charge interest. All of your payments go toward paying off the loan principal, taxes, and insurance.
How do I get started?
The first step is to come to the required Homeowner Orientation meeting. You will learn all about the homeowner program and receive an application packet. You can also download an application off of our website. The meeting is held at the Habitat for Humanity of Boone County office located at 817 W. Pearl Street in Lebanon (southwest corner of the Love, Inc. building) at 6pm on the second Tuesday of each month. Plan to arrive promptly at 6pm.
What kind of information is involved with the application?
1. Copies of your last 3 months (90 days) of pay stubs for proof of permanent current employment and income (include SSI, disability, child support, etc.) for each applicant. Please also include any legal documents, court orders or judgements that affect your income or expenses.
What happens after the application has been completed?
Habitat for Humanity will examine your application and the accompanying documentation to see if you can financially afford to make the payments on a Habitat house. You will be interviewed at your current place of residence, and a report on the condition of your house will be prepared. You will meet with a financial counselor who will offer suggestions on ways to improve your financial circumstances. When all of the information is together, a report on your situation will be presented, anonymously, to the Habitat for Humanity of Boone County Board of Directors. Then, the Board will vote on your application. This full process could take from 6 months to 3 years.
Once I am accepted, how long will it take to get a house?
Before you can move into a Habitat house, you must complete your required hours of sweat equity. You can expect to wait about a year before your house is built.
Do I have any choices about my house?
The homeowner has some selections to make their house their own. The availability of donated building materials (vinyl siding, carpet, paint, roof shingles, etc.) might restrict the choices. The homeowner may have some choices at no extra cost. In general homeowner has a few choices within a predetermined standard include:
- Vinyl siding and exterior door colors.
- Countertop colors for kitchen.
- Kitchen cabinet style and color
- Carpeting and vinyl flooring selection.
What if I already own land?
If the land is in Boone County and the site is an acceptable building site, we will ask you to sign the land over to Habitat for Humanity. We will then build on your land and include the cost of the land as part of your financial contribution to the build. This will reduce the amount that you have to pay. Once the mortgage is paid off in full, you will own the house and the land.
Does it matter if I don’t live in Boone County?
No, you just have to want to live in Boone County.
What if I need or want to sell my house?
We want to build homes for people to live in and have safeguards against those who would attempt to sell a home to make a profit. We do have guidelines for the ethical sale of a home. These details will be discussed during our homeowners meetings.
My living situation is really bad, and I need help, but I don’t have enough money to qualify. How can you help me?
Habitat for Humanity is based upon helping people to be able to buy their own houses. As such, there are financial requirements, which must be met. If you don’t meet our requirements, you need to contact government or social organizations, which could help. Some suggested contacts are: Boone County Senior Services, The Caring Center, Christ Builders, or your township trustee.