Participation in the Home Ownership Program


The Habitat for Humanity mission puts God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Habitat believes that partnership is the key to making this new relationship/home ownership a success. Habitat will build a house with you and will sell it to you with a no interest loan. Habitat also provides you the opportunity to learn the skills you need to own a home.


To participate in this program, a partner family must meet 3 criteria:

1. Need

2. Ability to Pay

3. Willingness to Partner (through Sweat Equity and Workshop and Class Attendance)


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More about Eligibility for the Home Ownership Program

1. Need Criteria Requires That:

  • A dwelling is not structurally sound (This regards the dwelling’s heating, plumbing, electrical, and safety)
  • A dwelling is overcrowded
  • A dwelling requires more than 35% -60% of the total family income
  • A family is unable to obtain conventional financing


2. Ability to Pay Criteria Requires That:

  • Minimum income guideline is met
  • Maximum income guideline is not exceeded (Click here for HUD Income Guidelines)
  • Debt to income ratio does not exceed 40%
  • No liens or judgments • No bankruptcies or foreclosures within 3 years
  • Consistent payment history
  • Able to save for closing costs ($1800 before closing)
  • A family is unable to obtain conventional financing


3. Willingness to Partner Criteria Requires That:

  • The applicant participate in 500 hours of Sweat Equity toward their home build
  • The applicant may perform construction duties on the home, work in the Habitat ReStore or the New Horizons office, babysitting, students can earn hours for good grades
  • Your family and friends can help you gain sweat equity hours
  • The applicant must attend workshops and attend classes


Other Important Criteria Requires That:

  • Applicant and co-applicant must be residents of: Sumter, Macon, Schley, Terrell, or Webster County and for 12 months prior to application
  • Applicant and co-applicant must be lawful, permanent residents of the United States or US Citizens
  • All occupants who will live in the home must be living with the applicant at the time of application
  • If an applicant is divorcing and plans to apply to Habitat as a single person, the divorce must be finalized before we can consider the application
  • All occupants of the future Habitat home must have no record of sexual offense charges
  • All occupants must have a record clear of any drug-related charges within the last 5 years


Disqualification! You Can be Disqualified:

  • If the information on your application is found to be incorrect
  • If your income changes so that you no longer qualify for a home
  • If you do not live-up to partnering with us and do not complete the sweat equity requirements If you refuse the house location more than one time
  • You will get a full refund of your closing costs without interest if you leave the program. Sweat-equity hours are considered volunteer


If you think you might meet the 3 criteria listed above, please attend the Partner Family Orientation to learn more about: eligibility requirements, how to determine your debt to income ration, how to save money now for a future down payment on a home, how you contribute sweat equity, how to enlist your friends and family to help in a home build, where a home might be built, what is the size of the home, and all your questions will be answered. Some families apply 3 or 4 times before they become eligible. If you are not accepted the first, please come back!


Please conatact our business office for more information (229) 928-9577.  Our hours of operation are: Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm.