Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

NRI Applicant Eligibility Guidelines

NRI Applicant Eligibility

Habitat’s NRI- Critical Home Repair program offers major home repairs and improvements in order to maintain safe living conditions and home value. Repairs include, but are not limited to, weatherization, painting, landscaping, and roofing.

To be eligible for a Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County’s NRI – Critical Home Repairs program ALL of the following must be true:

  • you OWN the home for which you are requesting repairs
  • you OCCUPY the home for which you are requesting repairs
  • the home must be in the Whatcom County limits
  • you have the ability to repay Habitat for work done

Ability to Repay

To be eligible for a Habitat NRI Critical Home Repair project, your total household income* must be between 30% and 80% of Whatcom County’s Median Income, adjusted for family size and shown on the chart below.  Your credit report will be utilized in assessing your fiscal responsibility and willingness to repay for work done.  We will look at your total income to debt ratio to make sure that the repayment amount will not put a financial burden on you and your family.  It is important to note that medical debt will be considered more leniently than consumer debt is.  Also know that it is our policy not to approve anyone with a bankruptcy during the past five years, unless due to medical debt.  In that case, there will be further inquiry. 

Repayment Process

This is to help ensure that you can afford to pay back Habitat a small amount monthly, without burdening your family.

If the total cost of the work is less than $5,000 Habitat may have you sign a Promissory Note (contract) saying that the amount would be paid. Also, we will require that payments be made through EFT (electronic funds transfer).

If the total cost of the work is over $5,000 Habitat may have you sign a Promissory Note (contract) saying that the amount would be paid and have you sign a Deed of Trust which is recorded and state that the balance must be paid in full before the home can be sold. You’ll still need to make the agreed monthly payments.

Sweat Equity

Habitat requires that families put in a certain number of “sweat equity” hours. “Sweat equity” demonstrates a family’s willingness to partner with Habitat and is accomplished by volunteering on a Habitat construction project, in the Habitat Store or office, or other approved activities. Just like with the new home construction program, 50% of your required “sweat equity” hours will need to be completed before your home improvement project can begin. To help accomplish this, 50% of your required hours can be put in by friends and family.

For example: if your “sweat equity” requirement would be 40 hours. Once 20 hours were completed construction would begin.

These steps protect Habitat’s investment in your property and the volunteer’s time and effort.

Background Checks

Habitat performs background checks and sex offender checks on all members of the applicant family’s household who are ten years of age or older.  It is Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County’s 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.  HFHWC has a strict policy regarding criminal convictions.  Anyone convicted of a felony within the last ten years, a gross misdemeanor within the last seven years or a misdemeanor in the last five years is not eligible.  If you feel that there are extenuating circumstances, especially if there is only a single offense, we encourage you to supply an explanation and the committee will take your information into account before making a decision.  Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County will use its sole discretion when making these decisions.

Our goal at Habitat is to build lasting relationships with our Partner Homeowners and to see them succeed in every way.

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