Now Accepting New Homeowner Applications

House with peopleA family of six squeezed into a two bedroom apartment. Mold that aggravates a child's asthma. Rent payments close to half of the family's income. Living paycheck to paycheck with too much income for government assistance but not enough to be approved for a mortgage. Do these situations sound familiar for your family or someone you know? We may be able to help!

 

Habitat for Humanity of Waukesha County is seeking new homeowner applications for our next round of home builds. Several two-story, three bedroom homes will be built or renovated on Whiterock Avenue near Frame Park in Waukesha.

 

A common misconception is that Habitat gives houses away for free. In actuality, families pay for their home with an affordable mortgage and monthly payment that is no more than 30% of their income. Habitat also provides partner families with housing and financial education classes. This is what we mean when we say we give a "hand up" not a "hand out"

 

There are three primary qualifications to be eligible for our homeownership program:

1. The need for housing, such as one of the above situations
2. The ability to repay, with some form of steady income to ensure the mortgage is paid on time each month
3. The willingness to partner, by advocating for affordable housing and allowing Habitat to share their story

In addition, applicants must have lived in Waukesha County for at least one year prior to applying. Families are required to contribute 250 hours per adult of 'sweat equity' building their home. This takes the place of a down payment, which is often a barrier to homeownership.

 

To ensure they are successful with monthly payments, eligible families must make between 30% and 80% of the area median income. For a family of four in Waukesha, this would be $24,300 to $56,150. Monthly mortgage payments, which include escrow for property taxes and insurance, are often less than what a family currently pays for rent.

 

Affordable housing, defined as less than one-third of one's income, is difficult in Waukesha County because of the high cost of land and municipality building restrictions. Habitat homes are affordable because they are built with volunteer labor and some donated materials. Homes are sold at no profit to approved families.

 

Habitat will break ground on two of the Whiterock properties in April, with others being built later this year and next year. For priority consideration, applications should be submitted by May, though we do accept applications at any time. Families who are not chosen for the first homeowner selection may be considered for a future Habitat home.

 

If you or someone you know is interested in applying to be a Habitat homeowner, or have questions about Habitat's home ownership program, please contact our Family Services Coordinator, Tyler Iscra, at tyler@habitatwaukesha.org or 262-309-6025 x206.