How it Works

How it Works


We believe that home is for everyone and everyone needs a home. Buying an affordable home provides a strong foundation and opportunity on which to build a better life.  

​Building strength, stability, and self-reliance one step at a time. 


The Application

Since Habitat is a lender, we are required to follow banking laws so certain information such as income, credit history, and debt need to be collected. Applicants are required to fill out a loan application completely and provide supporting documents by the application deadline in late Summer.  Applications are received by attending one of two available Orientation sessions. 



Once the application deadline has passed, all applications are processed, and the selection process begins. The selection committee meets to review information on the applicants, ranks them based on ability to pay, willingness to partner, readiness for homeownership and need for improved housing. We select one or two homebuyers per year. 


The Construction

Future homebuyers are required to put in 200 (individual) or 400 (married) hours of “sweat equity” before they are able to purchase their home. They also participate in homeowneeducation classes.  We have a 15 week build schedule in which future homebuyers participate.  There are sweat  equity opportunities beyond the build days. 


Dedication & Cutting of the Ribbon

The dedication ceremony is a chance for the organization to recognize the volunteers and homebuyer for all their hard work. The homeowner receives the keys to their new home and gets to move in anytime following the Dedication. 

Selection Criteria for Homeownership

  1. Housing Need. Current housing is inadequate, substandard, or not affordable. 
  1. Ability to Pay.
    • Applicant(s) must have a reliable, steady and verifiable source of income. 
    • Credit history shows ability to repay the loan and an acceptable debt-to-income ratio. 
    • Applicant(s) income is between 30% to 70% of the HUD area median income. 
    • U.S. Citizenship or permanent resident status. 
  1. Willingness to Partner.

    Households will partner with Habitat for Humanity of Columbus in several important ways.

    • Sweat Equity – 200/400 hours. This includes weekly lot maintenance both inside and outside of the house (mowing, weed control, work site pickup, etc.) 
    • Applicant(s) must complete a homeowner education classes. 
    • Applicant(s) must provide all necessary documents during the application process. 
    • Applicant(s) must be willing to purchase a Habitat for Humanity of Columbus house and make regular monthly mortgage payments for a 30 year mortgage at 0% interest.
    • Applicants are willing to share their story and partner with Habitat during events.