does Habitat give houses away?

Family of a women, a teenager and two children wearing hard hats with unfinished home in background We offer hard working people who could not otherwise afford a home a hand up toward homeownership. Our homeowners are hardworking individuals who are gainfully employed, many at more than one job, and spend more than half of their income on housing. Just like all homeowners, they put in their money toward closing costs, pay a mortgage, and maintain all the responsibilities that come with owning a home, including paying insurance and taxes. Our affordable housing program is underwritten by grants, donations and a generation of homeowners paying their mortgages.

who does Habitat serve?

Woman wearing hard hat facing interior unfinished walls of houseHabitat Orlando & Osceola serves the low and very low-income families and individuals in Greater Orlando and Osceola County. Habitat for Humanity works in good faith with people who often are at risk in society, understanding that owning a home is not the answer to every problem. However, it can be an important step – often the first step – toward helping people break the poverty cycle. Partner families are required to invest an average 75-150 hours of “sweat equity” – time spent on the build site. Our housing program is underwritten by philanthropic donations from individuals, corporations and foundations as well as grants. This allows us to provide an affordable mortgage, ensuring mortgage and escrow payments do not exceed 30% of a homeowner’s monthly income. 

do Habitat houses reduce property values in a neighborhood?

High shot of row of town houses in green, blue, yellow and red

Many studies of low-cost housing show that affordable housing has no adverse effect on other neighborhood property values. In fact, Habitat for Humanity believes its approach to affordable housing can improve neighborhoods and communities by strengthening community spirit, increasing the tax base, and building better citizens through the cooperative efforts involved in Habitat construction.

how does your credit score affect the application process?

While credit history is important, each case is reviewed on an individual basis. We have a partnership with Clearpoint credit counseling and Operation Hope. If an applicant has credit issues, they can help to resolve them.

is there a wait-list to apply for a home?

Exterior of white house with brown door and grass in front year on sunny day

Habitat Orlando & Osceola has a limited number of home sites in its land inventory. Approved homeowners must complete their sweat equity hours (which may take up to a year or more) before choosing the site of their future home among available lots. Habitat reviews their income, credit and family size to determine what options are affordable for the homeowner to select the lot, floor plan and interior colors of their choice. 

do you only accept families?

Habitat for Humanity accepts applications for single adults and families of any size or makeup.

can Habitat homeowners choose the home they live in?

Woman and young girl holding blue house key chain out in front of red door and completed beige house

Homeowners are allowed to select from different sites or units that Habitat is currently building.

do Habitat owners have to be pre-approved by a financial institution?

Once approved for the homeownership program, Habitat will refer you to a partner lender at the appropriate time.

are Habitat owners allowed to sell their home?

Habitat partner families can sell their home at any time. However, if families used the Down Payment Assistance Program to buy their home, that program has a stipulation stating that if you stay in the home for 10 years (City) or 20 years (County), then the amount of $20,000 – $35,000 you received to purchase the home will be forgiven. If the home is sold before that time, families must pay back the funds in full.

can Habitat help fix homeowners' existing homes with volunteer workers?

Close-up of person's hand holding a paintbrush on a white window sillHabitat Orlando & Osceola provides painting and minor repairs to existing homeowners through the Neighborhood Revitalization program.

can Habitat build on land owned by homeowners?

Due to the legal complexity and significant risk to both the Homeowner Applicant and Habitat Orlando & Osceola, it is Habitat’s policy that we will not build on property that is owned or has been previously owned by approved Homeowner Applicants.

is Habitat for Humanity an arm of the government?

Habitat is a non-profit, Christian housing organization. We are not an arm of the government nor an arm of any church or denomination.