FAQs For Homeownership Owner Applicants

What is the first step for Habitat homeownership?

Request or download from our website a Homeownership Pre-application.  Complete the application and mail to Habitat of Rockland's office at P.O. Box 329, Spring Valley NY 10977.  If you meet all the pre-approval criteria listed on the application, someone from Family Services will contact you to set up an appointment to review your application and the Homeownership Program.  At that meeting, you will be given a full Homeownership application and we will discuss next steps in the process.

What documents may be required to apply for a Habitat home?

  • Completed Part II Homeownership Application for housing, including a personal statement describing housing need

  • $15 application fee for one applicant; $25 application fee for two applicants

  • Social Security card

  • Driver’s license or state-issued photo ID

  • Landlord name and contact info

  • Employer name and contact info (if applicable)

  • Income documentation, including (if applicable):

    • W-2 forms for most recent 3 tax years

    • Tax returns for most recent 3 tax years

    • Paycheck stubs for past two months

    • Government assistance award letters:

      • Food Stamp/SNAP benefits

      • Social Security and/or Disability benefits

    • Documentation of alimony and/or child support

    • Documentation of any other regular income received

One of the selection criteria is “need for housing.” What does “need for housing” mean?

“Need for housing” generally means that an applicant’s current housing is inadequate. The Family Selection Committee typically chooses applicants who can prove at least one of the following housing conditions:

  • Substandard Housing: Your housing may have maintenance and/or structural issues that create health and safety problems (such as mold, poor heating or plumbing, or unsafe construction.) Your house is overcrowded, or is not good for handicapped/disabled family members.

  • Temporary Housing: You have temporary living arrangements or transitional/subsidized housing.

  • Excessive Cost: Your total housing costs (rent and necessary utilities) are more than 30% of your income.

  • Unsafe: Your neighborhood is unsuitable or unsafe for family members, especially children or elderly/disabled individuals.

What is good credit?

Good credit means that you pay all your bills on time each month and you don’t have excessive debt. Your credit is your responsibility and maintaining good credit is one of the most important thing you can do for your financial health. Having good credit means that you have a good credit report. A credit report is a record of the personal financial transactions that make up your credit history, such as credit cards, car loans, personal loans and negative items such as collections from utility or telephone companies.

How does your credit history look? You can check yours by getting your credit report. You are able to get a free credit report once a year from each of the three reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.


You may access one free copy of your credit report each year at www.annualcreditreport.com

What if my credit report shows outstanding collections, debt, bankruptcies, judgments or liens?

The Family Selection Committee considers the whole picture of an applicant and looks for applicants who are ready to accept the responsibility of homeownership. At the same time, we do not want to sell an applicant a home that she or he cannot afford. We do not expect applicants to have a perfect credit history. We do require applicants with negative credit accounts to have a plan to fix any outstanding collections or past-due items. We are unable to partner with applicants who have active, unpaid judgments or liens. Excessive debts and/or very recent unresolved collections may also disqualify an applicant.

Applicants who have filed for bankruptcy in the past should show a good credit history since the bankruptcy, and bankruptcies must have been discharged at least three years prior to the application for housing. 

You may access one free copy of your credit report each year at www.annualcreditreport.com

Family Partnership Application 
(Apply for a Home)

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