Habitat is Your Partner for Safe, Affordable Housing

Habitat’s homeownership program is all about partnership. We commit to building safe, decent homes and selling them to qualified low-income families via a 25 to 30 year, low- to no-interest mortgage. Habitat offers the necessary homebuyer education to make sure partner families are ready for long-term, successful homeownership.
Check out our Homeownership Qualifications below to find out what families can do to partner with Habitat.

The First Step in Your Journey

Every Habitat homeowner’s journey starts the same way – at the Habitat informational meeting. Sign up and learn more about becoming a Habitat homeowner, as well as the requirements and qualifications needed. Meetings are held several times throughout the year and promptly start on time – no late attendees will be admitted. These sessions will be held in person.
  • After a very successful application round last winter, we now plan to hold our next Habitat homeownership informational meetings in January of 2025. Specific meeting dates will be announced November.
Get started on your journey to homeownership. If you need a language interpreter for the meeting, at least two weeks notice is requested. Request of an interpreter will have no negative impact on your application. If you’d like us to contact you prior to an upcoming informational meeting, please call 608.255.1549.

Habitat Homeownership Qualifications

To apply for a Habitat home, a prospective homeowner must meet these requirements:
  • Attend a Habitat informational meeting prior to submitting an application. Meetings are held periodically throughout the year. An application must be submitted no more than 6 months after attending an information meeting, or a new meeting will need to be attended. Applications are available at our office, at request by email or mail, or at the Habitat informational meeting.
  • A household or family income no higher than 60 percent of the Dane County median income. (See chart below.)
  • Ability to pay a down payment on mortgage if selected for the program.
  • U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Resident Alien Status. Applicants must also reside in Dane County for 12 months prior to applying to the program.
  • Three years positive and verifiable housing history.
  • Established credit – minimum score of 620.
  • Show a need for housing and an ability to pay.
Applicants can be in need of housing due to any of the following situations:
  • Structurally substandard, unsafe or unhealthy living conditions.
  • Temporary housing or over-crowded living conditions.
  • Housing costs (rent + utilities) exceeds 30 percent of gross monthly household income.
  • Housing is inaccessible.
  • Resides in subsidized or transitional housing (section 8, Title 42, etc.).
As part of the application process, Habitat will evaluate applicants’ household income and debt. A criminal background check is completed on all adult family members who will reside in the home.
Volunteers from Habitat’s Family Selection Committee review applications. Their recommendations are presented to the Habitat for Humanity of Dane County Board of Directors for final selection. Habitat abides by all housing rules and regulations and does not discriminate based on a person’s age, disability, lawful income source, national origin, sexual orientation, race, ancestry, family arrangement, color, gender, marital status or religion. Family selection considers an applicant’s willingness to work their 275 to 425 sweat equity hours in the construction of their home. Applicants are evaluated on the following criteria:
  • Housing references
  • Income stability
  • Credit status
  • Criminal background review
  • Need for adequate housing
  • Willingness to partner
  • Overall family need
After an initial screening, a home visit is scheduled with members of the Habitat Family Selection Committee. The home visit is an opportunity to answer questions, explain the construction process and begin formulating a recommendation for selection as a future Habitat for Humanity building partner and homeowner.

Habitat Income Guidelines

Minimum and maximum income levels based on household size.
  • 1 Person: $37,750 – $52,920
  • 2 People: $37,750 – $60,480
  • 3 People: $37,750 – $68,040
  • 4 People: $37,750 – $75,540
  • 5 People: $40,800 – $81,600
  • 6 People: $43,800 – $87,660
  • 7 People: $46,850 – $93,720
  • 8 People: $49,850 – $99,720
Find out if you qualify for home ownership with a partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dane County with our questionnaire.