Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply to become a Habitat Homeowner?
The first step in the process of becoming a Habitat homeowner is to watch the Homeownership Informational Video on our website or print our Homeownership Booklet so you know what it takes to be a Habitat homeowner and how to quality for the program.
STAGE 1 – Determining the Family’s Eligibility:
- The Family Services department requires every family to go to Habitat Saskatchewan’s website to fill out the “Eligibility Quiz” first in order to see if you are eligible for our homeownership program. If you match the criteria and are notified that you are eligible for the homeownership program, you will then be put on our “waitlist”.
- Family Services will only put eligible families on our waitlist, and there are no guarantees when Habitat Saskatchewan will call you to start the next stages of the process – the application stage.
STAGE 2 – Preliminary Application:
- A preliminary application is only provided to a family through our Family Services department when they are looking for families. Family Services will look for families only when they are looking to build and have the funding to build.
- When and if you are eligible to move on to the next stage of our application process, the full application stage, the Family Services department will be in contact with you.
STAGE 3 – Full Application:
- Once you have been given a full application to fill out, we will give you 3 weeks to fill in the application and get it back to the Family Services department with all supporting documents.
- The full application requires supporting documents that are mandatory to complete your application for both the applicant and co-applicant. We will be asking you to supply us with\ bank statements, pay stubs, child tax information, letters of employment, debt and asset information, Notice of Assessment documentation, and any other information that we ask for you to provide us in the checklist provided.
- Please keep in mind that we will be pulling a credit check on the applicant and co-applicant.
If you are successful in the full application stage, you will be contacted by the Family Services department to book your in-home interview/walk through.
STAGE 4 – In-Home Interview/Walk Through:
- If you have been selected for an in-home interview/walk through, you will be contacted by a Family Services team member to book that appointment.
- The in-home interview/walk through is conducted for us to determine what your housing need might look like and to ask you some more questions around your application and willingness to partner with Habitat Saskatchewan.
Are homes given to families for free?
No, Habitat homes are not free. Families are required to purchase the home from Habitat at fair-market value. Therefore, we sign a mortgage with the family once they have finished their 500 volunteer hours and are financially stable to move into homeownership. Currently our program is a zero-down payment, interest free mortgage with payments set at 25% of the family’s gross annual household income. The partnership with Habitat is a hand-up and not a hand-out.
If you have a lot of applicants, how does Habitat for Humanity choose the family?
Ultimately, we use an extensive point score system in choosing our families that will help us to determine what the need, ability to pay and willingness to partner for the family would look like.
How long does the application process take?
Once you have been selected to move on to the Full Application stage when we are ready to start our family selection process, the application process could take anywhere from 6-9 months.
Can I choose my home and the design, and where it is located?
No, Habitat will choose the design and type of home, and the location based off a number of factors. These factors include the lot size, family size, the neighbourhood specifications, where the land is that we are building on, and what home might be available at that time.
Will I always be offered a brand new home with Habitat?
No, often we are looking for families to purchase previously lived-in Habitat properties. Therefore there is no guarantee that Habitat is looking to sell a brand new home to a family or is currently building new homes.
What is the size and type of home that Habitat can build? Can special needs be accommodated and what is included?
Typically, Habitat can build a 3 or 4 bedroom home and we choose the size of property for the family based off the National Occupancy Standards and according to the size of land. If a large family requires a larger home with more than 3 bedrooms, Habitat can accommodate that when possible and will always follow our specific guidelines. If there are special needs requirements, such as wheelchair access, we will accommodate as best we can if the building permits and specifications allow.
What is total gross household income? What does income requirement mean?
Total gross household income is the amount of income that is calculated for the year (annually) for everyone in the home that is working over the age of 18 and not going to school full time. The income requirement means that for you to qualify for our program financially, the total gross annual household income is required to be between $32,000 and $66,500. Therefore, if you and your partner made $50,000 combined for the year, you would fall within the income requirement.
I am self employed, how is my income considered?
To assess your income, Habitat requires your income tax files for the last 3 years and bank statements for the last 12 months.
Can I apply for Habitat’s Homeownership Program if I am on parental leave?
Yes, you can apply if you are on paternity or maternity leave. But your household income will be based accordingly. If the return date is within six months of the letter being issued, then we will use 100% of the stated salary on the application. If the return date is not within six months of the letter, then we can only use 60% of the stated salary.
Do you pull a credit report on each family and why?
Yes, we pull a credit report on the applicant and co-applicant. This is mandatory in the application process and happens when you move on to the Full Application stage. The credit report will be a hit to your credit, and it will tell us if you have good, fair, or bad credit. A credit report provides detailed information on how you have used credit in the past, including how much debt you have and whether you’ve paid your bills on time, and if you have any items in collections.
If I complete an application today and my income changes, what happens?
We require you to always tells us about changes in your income and housing. If you lose your income, we may not be able to approve you, but we can reassess you when you find a stable source of income.
Can I re-apply for Habitat’s Homeownership Program if I didn’t qualify previously? If so, how?
We ask that you reapply only if your situation has changed or improved. When Habitat declines/disqualifies your application, we will let you know the reason why this happened and what we require from you in order for you to apply again. For example, if your application was declined/disqualified because your income was too low, we would require you to only apply
again when your income is between the income requirement ($32,000 to $66,500).
What does being a Habitat Ambassador mean?
Being a Habitat Ambassador means that when we partner with you and you become a future homeowner, you and your family become the face of Habitat. We depend on our families to be the face in our community, which means that we would be taking videos and photos of your family and sending your story out to the public. If it wasn’t for our families, what we do and how we build homes would not be possible. You are why people donate their time and funds to our organization.
What homes are you currently building?
Currently, Habitat Saskatchewan is not building any new homes. This can change from time to time depending on a number of factors. In order for Habitat to build, we have to have the money in place to do that through fundraising, donations, partnerships and sales at the ReStore.
How do I complete my 500 mandator volunteer hours? What does that entail?
Habitat Saskatchewan gives the family 1 year to get their hours completed as a requirement to the Homeownership Program and the hours start after Habitat has partnered with the family. On average a family should be doing 25 hours in a month in order to get the hours done on time.
If you require more information regarding the volunteer hours, please contact our Volunteer Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.