Who's eligible for our program?
Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County provides a unique opportunity for hardworking families to help build and buy their own homes. We work closely with qualified individuals and families to build safe, decent, and affordable homes in Whatcom County.
Owning a Habitat home is often more cost-effective than renting a house or even an apartment. Habitat homeowners build strength, stability, and independence for a better future for themselves and their families.
Habitat is also a permanent, not an immediate, housing solution. If you qualify for our home-ownership program, it frequently takes more than a year from the time you qualify to the time your house is completed.
Qualifying for our program
To be eligible for the Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County’s Homebuyer Partnership program, applicants must have lived in, and currently be living in, Whatcom County for a minimum of 1 year. Additionally, applicants must have an income between 30% – 60% of the area median income for a family of your size.
For more information, please see the Income Eligibility Guidelines chart located on Page 2 of the Preliminary Application for Eligibility Form. Other applicant eligibility guidelines include:
Substandard Housing Conditions. There are five different circumstances that Habitat considers “substandard” or “unsafe.” To qualify you must meet one or more of these circumstances. Examples include unsafe living conditions, overcrowding, high cost burden (paying more than 50% of your income to housing), dangerous neighborhood, and/or transitional housing. Please review the Habitat Homebuyer Eligibility Interest Form guidelines provided with the Preliminary Eligibility Interest Form to learn more about specific examples of substandard or unsafe conditions.
Ability to pay. Eligible applicants must have the ability to make timely monthly mortgage payments on their Habitat home, and have good credit. Habitat for Humanity sells homes at cost to approved applicants. The average mortgage for a single-family home in 2020 is between $125,000 and $175,000. This can mean monthly mortgage payments ranging between $350 and $500 per month, plus taxes and insurance.
Partnering with Habitat. Future homeowners are required to complete a minimum of 500 hours of volunteer time (sweat equity) before purchasing their home. They must also participate in home-ownership training classes, some financial education, and credit counseling. We ask that our homebuyers demonstrate effort and good faith in working together with us.
Habitat performs background and sex offender checks on all members of an applicant family’s household 10 years of age and older. It is our policy not to accept any applicants who have been convicted of a sex crime and/or who must legally have their name on the national sex offender registry.
All applications are processed by our volunteer Homebuyer Selection Committee with final approval by the Board of Directors. At Habitat for Humanity, our goal is to build lasting relationships with our Partner Homebuyers and to see them succeed in every way.