How to Apply
Applications are currently closed, while we build another house.
Eligibility and Qualifications
- Affordable, energy efficient homes built to local and HFH International standards, and customized to the partner family’s needs.
- Habitat Homes are made affordable because of:
- Sweat Equity participation by the homeowners
- Both volunteer and skilled crews
- Donated materials
- Zero interest mortgages
Prospective homeowners are selected based on need, the ability to pay a mortgage and willingness to participate in building their home.
How to qualify for a Habitat House:
- You may have financial need, if any of these apply:
- Have been denied a conventional or government assisted mortgage.
- You are a current occupant of government assisted housing
- Your rent and utilities (phone excluded) exceed 30% of your take home income
- Your current accommodations are inadequate, unhealthy or unsafe
- You are a resident of Walworth County and have been for at least six months prior to application
- You have sufficient family income to support a mortgage, real estate taxes, insurance and utilities. (Current “2021” HFH/Walworth homeowners pay an average of $500 per month including mortgage and real estate tax expenses, though costs vary depending on family needs and the specific home design).
- You are willing to invest Sweat Equity in the purchase of your home, and be a vital part of your local community
- Meet the following income guidelines, adjusted from HUD, April 2020:
Do you need a down payment?
Sweat Equity and $500 (refundable at closing) is the down payment that is required for a habitat home. Adult family members contribute 250 hours each to the build (construction, community service or simple project support can apply). Children twelve and over, subject to limitations, can contribute; relatives and friends can contribute up to one half of the needed hours. HFH/Walworth tracks the Sweat Equity investment.
Habitat for Humanity’s core concept is to offer a partner family the opportunity to build their own equity.
“Sweat Equity” is the labor that HFH partners invest in the building of their home. The new homeowners become partners in the process of building their own affordable home. Sweat Equity progress is the best predictor of a partner family’s success in the program; prompt completion of the Sweat Equity commitment leads to timely payments and well-kept homes. A Habitat homeowner working together with diverse volunteers and meeting future neighbors connects quickly with the local community.
This home is more than a house. It is a home with love, built with love and hope and dreams, because of Habitat for Humanity. You’ve given our family hope—no matter how bad things get or have been in the past. God has blessed our family with the caring, supportive, concerned, kind people at Habitat.
—a Habitat for Humanity partner family
- Attend a Homeowner Orientation Meeting.
Our staff will go through the entire homeowner program, answer any questions potential applicants may have, as well as dispel some of the myths about Habitat. At the end of each meeting, applications are distributed and reviewed in detail.
You do not need to attend an Orientation Meeting to apply, but all applicants must attend an Orientation Meeting before an application can be approved.
- Fill out your application.
- Make copies of any of the documents listed below that apply to your situation:
- Federal Income tax returns (form 1040) for the past two years you filed
- Current pay stubs (last two pay periods)
- Current bank statements (checking and savings)
- Current benefit statements (SSI, SSDI, Food Share, Section 8 Housing, etc…)
- Child support court order and payment history for the past two years
- Name, address and phone number of your current landlord
- Proof of residency and eligibility to work in the U.S.
Mail completed application and supporting documents to Habitat for Humanity in Walworth County, PO Box 174 Lake Geneva 53147-0174 or bring to the orientation meeting.
- Schedule a meeting with the family services coordinator to review your application for completeness.
- After your application is submitted, staff will do an initial review of your Need, Ability to Pay, and Willingness to Partner with Habitat. Staff will pull civil/criminal records, obtain your credit report and request a landlord reference.
- If your application is complete, it will be reviewed by the Family Selection Committee.
- If your application passes the initial review, a home visit will be arranged.
The home visit consists of a tour of your current home and an interview of your family by two members of the Family Selection Committee. The purpose of the home visit is to discuss the Habitat housing program in further detail and gain further information on your family’s current living conditions.
All heads of the household must participate and the entire family should be present.
- After your home visit, your application is reviewed by the entire Family Selection Committee.
The committee reviews information submitted on the application form, financial documents and information obtained at the home visit to determine whether your application meets the program guidelines.
If approved, your application (without identifiable personal information) is forwarded to the Habitat Board of Directors for a final review and approval.
If the committee does not approve your application, you will be notified in writing with the reason for denial.
- If approved by the Habitat Board of Directors, you will be contacted to set a date for an Acceptance Letter Meeting. A Family Advocate will be assigned to you and will attend the meeting with you. At the Acceptance Letter Meeting, the Family Services Coordinator will go over the guidelines of the program, the Volunteer Coordinator will discuss volunteer opportunities for your “sweat equity hours” and the Construction Coordinator will discuss your house options.
- You must attend a mandatory orientation meeting.
- Applications are available:
- At the orientation meetings..
- On our website.
- Leave a message at 262-949-0542 with your questions.
- Write to P.O. Box 174, Lake Geneva, WI 53147.
- Applications must also include (copies please, save your originals):
- Federal tax returns (form 1040) for the past two years.
- Pay stubs for the last two pay periods.
- Current bank statements, both checking and savings.
- Current benefit statements (SSI, SSDI, Food Share, Section 8 Housing, etc.)
- Child support court order and payment history for the past two years.
- Name, address and phone number of your current landlord.
- Proof of residency and eligibility to work in the US.
- Your willingness to submit to a credit and civil/criminal background check.
- Members of the HFH/Walworth Family Selection Committee will be available (either at the orientation meetings or by phone) to assist in timely completion of the applications, and to address any questions. Applicants who initially fulfill the eligibility criteria will be interviewed. The Family Selection Committee may also require a home visit.
- The Family Selection Committee will review all completed and eligible applications and make anonymous recommendations to the HFH/Walworth Board of Directors, who in turn will choose the successful applicant.
- The approved applicant will be contacted to arrange an Acceptance Letter Meeting, and to meet with their Family Advocate. The Sweat Equity commitment and housing options will be discussed.