Homeownership

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 for families who meet our eligibility criteria, by offering a “hand up, not a hand out.”

Eligibility

We evaluate applications based on need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner.  Applicants must meet income eligibility criteria, pre-qualify for a first mortgage with one of our partner lenders, and demonstrate a willingness to partner with our staff and volunteers to build or repair a home.

A successful Habitat homebuyer:

  • Has a steady income to pay mortgage payments as well as homeowner’s insurance, taxes and necessary maintenance.  In the case of most house builds, the minimum gross annual income for a household is about $25,000 and the maximum amounts are listed below by County and household size. (If you live in Tompkins County and receive Section 8 assistance, you may be able to use it!)
  • Is a good credit risk, and able to qualify for an affordable home loan. If you owe a lot of money and have difficulty meeting monthly payments, and do not seem to be able to reduce your long term debt, you may not be a good candidate for homeownership at this time. We can connect you to resources to help you get your credit in order.
  • Is in need of decent housing.  This could mean overcrowding or unsafe conditions, inadequate heat or sanitary conditions, or severe structural problems.  It could also mean that more than 30% of your income goes to housing. In this case, you might qualify even if your current housing is not considered substandard.
  • Is willing and able to invest at least 350 hours of Sweat Equity. Sweat Equity is the hard work that brings a goal, like owning a home, to life.  Future homeowners work on construction of their house and houses for other families, participate in home maintenance and financial training classes, and volunteer at events.  Friends and family members can help earn some of the hours (children can even earn Sweat Equity hours for their family by getting good grades in school).
  • Has lived, worked, or had a child in school in either Tompkins and Cortland Counties for one year, and been a resident of New York State for at least 2 years.
  • 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 2017

1 person2 person3 person4 person5 person6 person7 person8 person
$31,800$36,300$40,860$45,360$49,020$52,620$56,280$59,880
Cortland County maximum gross household income

Income guidelines for applicants living in Tompkins County for 2017

1 person2 person3 person4 person5 person6 person7 person8 person
$27,300$31,200$35,100$38,940$42,060$45,180$48,300$51,420

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 for an application or discussion.  We want to help.

Application process

The application process:

  1. Application with TCHFH, submitted with copies of all required documents
  2. Mortgage pre-qualification with an approved partner lender (includes credit evaluation and income verification)
  3. Home visit with Family Selection Committee members
  4. Board of Directors votes on final approval

Contact us if you have additional questions.