Are You Ready To Provide A Safe, Decent, Affordable Home For Your Family?

Homeownership Qualifications

You must have lived or worked in Rutherford County for the past twelve months and be:

Living in inadequate housing. Such as the house does not have working heat, plumbing or electricity, or there are not enough bedrooms.

Willing to partner with Habitat. Being a Habitat homeowner is a lot of work.  You must invest at least 300 hours of sweat equity into your house and those of other partner families. Completion of our educational program is also required.

Able to pay for a Habitat house. You will repay the mortgage with a 25-30 year, affordable mortgage. We require a demonstrated ability to make payments.

Able to pass a Security Screening. Applicants must pass a criminal and sex offender background check.

Family SizeMinimum* Annual IncomeMaximum* Annual Income

*Income levels are set annually by US Department of Housing and Urban Development and are 30 – 75% of the median income. (NOTE:  Minimum income limits have been adjusted to reflect the income required to afford the mortgage payment for the house size required for the family size.)

Income Guidelines

The income of the applicants whose names will be on the mortgage will be included in the calculation of a family’s total gross income.

Gross income from all wages, SSI, SSDI, housing assistance, retirement, alimony, VA benefits, child support, etc. are included.

The guidelines are annual (to convert monthly income to annual, multiply monthly amount by 12).

Income guidelines are listed by family size. For example, a family of 4 would need to have a gross annual income that falls between $25,604 and $51,900.

Ability to Pay

Ability to pay is determined by information provided and collected during the application process. Information on the paper application, pay stubs, benefit statements, previously filed federal tax returns, and credit reports are examples of the resources used to determine this ability.

Applicants must:

  • A steady, reliable source of income and demonstrated financial responsibility
  • The ability to pay a monthly mortgage payment at approximately 30% of gross monthly income (taxes and insurance included)
  • The ability to pay projected monthly utilities (electric/gas & water/sewer)
  • NOT have filed for bankruptcy within the past 2 years
  • NOT have outstanding collections, liens or judgments that cannot reasonably be paid by the completion of the home build

A partner family must be willing to complete “sweat-equity” hours.

“Sweat-equity” is when a partner family takes part in building their own home and other Habitat homes and may include activities such as clearing the lot, painting, helping with construction, working in the Habitat office, or other approved activities.

  • You must work a minimum of 300 sweat equity hours.
  • A portion of the sweat equity hours can be completed by family and friends.
  • All of the hours must be completed before the partner family can purchase the home.

In addition, the partner family must also be willing to:

  • Complete a series of homeownership educational meetings
  • Keep future home site clean
  • Willingly work with assigned advocate and the Habitat staff
  • Pay a down payment of $500 (lump sum or payments)
  • Pay mortgage payments on or before due date each month
  • Take care of property after move-in

Applicants must provide documentation of residency and eligibility to work in the US

One of the following documents is accepted as proof of both residency and eligibility:

  • US Passport
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
  • Foreign Passport with temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa
  • Unexpired Employment Authorization Document with a Photo ID (Form I-766)
  • Unexpired Foreign Passport with Form I-94
  • Passport from Federated States of Micronesia or the Republic of the Marshall Islands with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI.

If one of the above cannot be provided, please contact us and we can assist you.

Where We Build

Our homes are built in Rutherford County, NC


How to Apply

If you meet the criteria, download or pick up an application to get started.

Applications can be picked up at the Habitat ReStore, located at 686 W. Main St., Forest City, NC 28043 or at the business office located at 269 W. Main St., Forest City, NC 28043.