The criteria for our home ownership program include the following:

1.     Ability to Pay:  Habitat homes are not free, but are sold to our partner families at cost (land + construction) with a 30-year no-interest loan.  We calculate a family’s ability to afford the mortgage, taxes and insurance by using a variety of documents to determine income, credit worthiness and legal residency.  The ability to pay documents and income guidelines will be listed in detail on the next page of this document.

2.     Housing Need:  Applicants who meet the Ability to Pay requirements may be chosen to go onto the home interview phase where a team of Habitat Family Selection volunteers meets with them in their home to determine housing need.  This can be defined in a variety of ways to include overcrowding, a dwelling poorly-maintained by a landlord or property manager, an unreasonably high income-to-rent ratio and other factors that contribute to housing need.  Applicants may not currently own a home, but owning land does not eliminate someone from consideration.

3.     Willingness to Partner:  Habitat partner families work with us to build their own homes and the homes of other applicants.  In addition to working on the construction site, we offer volunteer opportunities in our El Paso ReStore and our downtown warehouse.  Details on the number of hours required and the distribution of those hours are available in the second half of this document.

4.     Military Service:  For our normal selection process, this criteria does not apply, however the donor has stipulated that the selected family must include a veteran who has served honorably in the United States military.   Documentation verifying service will be required as part of the application process.   



Please feel free to send this document to as many interested organizations and individuals as you would like.  If you would like an electronic copy to distribute via email, send a request to the email address above, and it will be provided.  The next two pages of this document will provide additional details that will aid in understanding our application process during the selection period.   More information is also available on www.habitatelpaso.org

The first page of this document is designed to stand on its own in order to highlight the main points of our process and can be provided to applicants who are interested in the qualifying criteria.  The following information expands on the main points in order to provide more information about our income levels, required documentation and sweat equity expectations.  

Ability to Pay:  Applicants who complete the application and meet the income guidelines should be able to provide copies of the following documentation, which allows us to determine a family’s ability to pay for a home:
a. Three months worth of paycheck stubs for all working household members.
b.  Proof of other income such as a child support statement from the attorney general’s office and award letters indicating
income from the following sources: social security, disability, TANF / SNAP, pensions from retirement accounts or the
military or unemployment benefits.  Self-employed applicants should provide profit and loss statements for their
c. Six consecutive months of bank statements for all household members.
d. Proof of assets such as CDs, Mutual Funds, 401(k), etc…
e. IRS form 1040’s and W-2’s for all household members who filed taxes in the last two years.
f. Social Security cards and birth certificates for all household members and valid Texas identification cards or driver’s
g. Proof of legal residency is required for non-U.S. citizens. 
h. A Divorce Decree if applicant or co-applicant are divorced.
i.  Applicants will complete an application that includes a signature allowing us to run a credit report and background
check on all applicants and co-applicants.
The maximum annual income for applicants to be considered are as follows:  

Number of people in household                              Maximum Annual Income

                             1                                                                         $23,760
                             2                                                                         $27,120
                             3                                                                         $30,540
                             4                                                                         $33,900
                             5                                                                         $36,660
                             6                                                                         $39,360
                             7                                                                         $42,060
                             8                                                                         $44,760 

Housing Need: We ask applicants to describe their housing need on the application, but need is ultimately determined by conducting a home interview.  The mission of Habitat for Humanity is to eliminate substandard housing in the communities we serve, so applicants with the greatest housing need are given preference over applicants who currently live in adequate housing. 

Willingness to Partner:  In order to fulfill the sweat equity requirement, single applicants (individuals living alone, or one adult applicant with children under the age of 16) will be required to complete 300 sweat equity hours and multiple-adult partner families (two parents or a single parent with children 16 and older) will be required to complete 400 sweat equity hours.  Most of these hours are required to be completed by the immediate family, but we allow some of them to be completed by extended family, friends and co-workers.  The details of the sweat equity contract will be discussed in detail with a family before the Homeowner Agreement is signed and partner families will have opportunities to ask questions.   

Military Service: As part of our application process, we will ask that an applicant provide proof of an honorable discharge from one of the military services so that we can verify their status as a veteran. 

If you have a question that is unanswered in this document, please feel free to use the contact information on the front page to submit a question and we will respond as soon as possible.