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Homeownership

Apply for Habitat homeownership today!

Accepting applications January 20 – April 1, 2023. See below for application instructions and eligibility criteria.

Our application period is currently closed.

Path to Homeownership

Check out other housing programs in the meantime.

With a little help, we all have the potential to stand on our own.

Habitat for Humanity of Tompkins and Cortland Counties provides an affordable homeownership opportunity by offering a “hand up, not a hand out.” Habitat homebuyers help build or fix up their house (we call this “Sweat Equity”) and take out an affordable mortgage.

APPLICATION STEPS :

  1. Read over the eligibility guidelines below, and if you feel you may qualify email liz@tchabitat.com or call 607-844-3529 to schedule a phone or in-person meeting to learn more about our program and if it is right for you
  2. Meet with a mortgage lender & obtain a mortgage pre-qualification letter
  3. Complete the Habitat Application for Homeownership
  4. Two members of our Family Services Committee will meet with your family to discuss your current housing situation and your Sweat Equity plan.
  5. Board of Directors votes on a selection

Eligibility

We evaluate applications based on NEED, ABILITY TO PAY, and WILLINGNESS TO PARTNER.

A successful Habitat homebuyer:

  • Has a steady income. Total gross household annual income should be at minimum $35,000 and the current maximum amounts are listed below by County and household size. (NOTE: if you live in Tompkins County and receive Section 8 assistance, you may be able to use it! In this case, there is no income minimum.)
  • Is a good credit risk, and able to qualify for an affordable home loan. Worried about your credit? We can help you get started on your path to home purchase.
  • Is in need of decent housing.
  • Is willing and able to invest at least 350 hours of Sweat Equity. Habitat homebuyers help build their homes, as well as take classes and do other work to prepare to be a homeowner.
  • Applicants must either be a US Citizen or provide proof of permanent residency status (green card).
  • Has not owned a home in the last three years.
Tompkins County maximum gross household income

Income guidelines for applicants living in Tompkins County for 2022-23

1 person2 person3 person4 person5 person6 person7 person8 person
$42,120$48,120$54,120$60,120$64,980$69,780$74,580$79,380
Cortland County maximum gross household income

Income guidelines for applicants living in Cortland County for 2022-23

1 person2 person3 person4 person5 person6 person7 person8 person
$32,760$37,440$42,120$46,800$50,580$54,300$58,080$61,800

We do not discriminate based on age, race, color, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, handicap, or familial status. 

How to apply

If you feel you meet the guidelines above, you may qualify. Please call 607-844-3529 or e-mail to discuss.  We want to help.

Contact us if you have additional questions.

Read Our Homeowner’s Stories

Each Habitat house becomes someone’s home. The walls are so much more than just a structure and it represents a huge shift in our homeowners lives. Read their inspiring stories and learn about the impact that our work makes!

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