Becoming a Habitat Partner Family

Low-income families in need of a decent, affordable home and motivated to work to become homeowners are encouraged to apply. Three distinct areas are considered when reviewing potential “Partner Families” as first-time homeowners:

  1. Family currently pays more than 30% of income for housing and is unable to find an affordable alternative.
  2. Family currently lives in housing which is overcrowded or in Substandard condition.
  3. Family has reliable yearly income above 30% and below 80% of the median income set by HUD guidelines according to family size.
Ability to Pay

Families must demonstrate the ability to make a down payment of $500, pay a monthly mortgage payment – including taxes and insurance (about $500-$700 per month) – and afford to pay monthly utility bills and other expenses.

Willingness to Partner

Partner families should be honest and cooperative in the partnership with Habitat. They must contribute a minimum of 200 volunteer hours of sweat equity and maintain the house after moving in.


To qualify to become a Habitat partner, families must live or have worked in St. Joseph County MI for the last 12 months and be a U.S. citizen or have a permanent resident card.

We do not eliminate applicants or discriminate because of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, handicap, family status, ethnicity, national origin, or public assistance as a source of income.

Learn more about Homeownership

Homeowner Applications

Download_Icon.png Application Digitally fillable (PDF)
Download_Icon.png Application (PDF)