Homeownership Program

Every day, more and more families find themselves in a struggle to keep a decent roof over their heads. Caught in punishing cycles of unpredictable rent increases, overcrowded or unsafe conditions, or lack of affordable financing, these families live with a constant burden of uncertainty, stress and fear.

Habitat for Humanity knows that safe, decent and affordable homeownership plays a critical role in helping families to create a new life, one filled with possibilities and progress.

girl stands in front of house

How does Habitat for Humanity Niagara’s homeownership program work?

With the help of volunteers and generous donors, Habitat Niagara builds decent and affordable homes that provide a solid foundation for people to build better, healthier lives.

Habitat homeowners volunteer 500 hours and pay an affordable mortgage – geared to their income – to buy their home at fair market value. Habitat’s model of affordable homeownership bridges a gap for people who face barriers to homeownership and who would otherwise not have an opportunity to buy a home.

Habitat’s path to homeownership is an important and in-depth process, requiring hard work, time and dedication which helps to ensure the long-term success of Habitat homeowners.

How does the Habitat for Humanity Niagara application process work?

All Habitat homeowners go through an application process to determine their level of housing need, their ability to repay Habitat’s affordable mortgage, and their willingness to partner with Habitat, which includes 500 hours of volunteering. 

Anyone can apply to become a Habitat homeowner. Eligible criteria for qualified Habitat homebuyers are:

In need of better housing: Potential homebuyers may be dealing with poorly maintained, unhealthy or overcrowded housing, unaffordable rent, or inaccessible housing for people living with disabilities.

Willing to partner with Habitat: Habitat homebuyers must be willing to complete 500 volunteer hours with Habitat Niagara. This typically involves helping build their own home or the homes of others in the program, volunteering in their local Habitat ReStore, and taking classes in personal finance, home maintenance and other homeownership topics.

Able to make affordable mortgage payments: Habitat homeowners buy their home for the fair market value. Mortgage payments are made affordable because they do not exceed approximately 30 percent of the gross household income and income is evaluated on a yearly basis.