How to Apply for Home Repairs with Habitat

March 16, 2023 Home Repair

Habitat for Humanity Home Preservation Program

While springtime might bring sunnier days, it can also be a good time to evaluate your home for any repairs it might need. If your home needs some TLC that you’re unable to afford, Habitat for Humanity’s Home Repair Program might be the right fit for you!

What is the Home Repair Program?

Blog Feature - -  750x510px  7Habitat’s Home Repair Program helps homeowners with limited incomes to get the repairs and improvements they need to remain safe and comfortable in their homes – and rooted in their neighborhoods. Our goal is to alleviate any critical health and safety concerns in the home, so that homeowners can securely enjoy their home for years to come. Since 2017, we have been working with our own experienced construction staff as well as reputable, licensed contractors on nearly 150 home repair projects a year, on jobs that range from $4,000 to $150,000 – which are paid for through grants or forgivable loans.

What kinds of repairs can I get help with?

Blog Feature - -  750x510px  9We offer assistance for many kinds of upgrades, both interior and exterior.

Some examples of repairs we commonly address include:
•    Plumbing or electrical work
•    Water heaters
•    Roof repairs
•    Climate control, including air conditioning, heating, and swamp coolers
•    Replacing roofing, flooring, windows, and doors
•    Accessibility modifications like conversion of a bath to a walk-in showers, door widening, wheelchair lifts, and ramps
•    Repairs to address individual health wellness issues, such as replacing carpeting with hardwood flooring for a household member with sensory triggers
•    Mitigation of pollutants such as dry rot, mold, and lead
•    Siding and painting
•    Fencing and gates
•    Exterior drainage issues
•    Foundation and seismic strengthening for earthquake preparedness
•    Replacement of appliances

Would I qualify for this program?

To qualify for the program, you must both own and live in your home, and your household income must not exceed 80% of the current Area Median Income. There may also be a limit to some of your liquid assets, such as bank accounts, but the value of your home is not counted against your qualification. For example, a household of two living in San Jose earning less than $105,400 could qualify. To learn more about the income limit, read the program information for the area your home is in here. In many cases, we have programs that can serve owners of most building types, whether it is a mobile home, single family home, or condominium. 

Blog Feature - -  750x510px  6-1The best way to find out if the program is a good fit for your situation is to contact us and apply. This gives us the most complete picture of your unique needs and helps us match you with funding. If you are not ready to apply yet and want to learn more from a staff member, you can sign up for our free Home Repair Info Sessions that occur each month. You may access them on a computer or telephone and have an opportunity to ask questions. You can also fill out an Request for Service form online, or leave us a message requesting a full application on our Home Repair Helpline at (510) 803-3388 or 

What does the application process look like?

Glad you asked! Below, you can see the steps for applying, and know that our Home Repair team is here to support you along the way.

Step 1: Applicant Submits Application Form and Application Supporting Documents
o    Habitat will confirm that we have received your packet.

Step 2: Application Reviewed by Loan or Grant Administrator
o    The waiting time before an application is reviewed depends on current volume of applications for the program.
o    Once an application is under review, we will request additional or missing documents (including tax returns, income documents, and asset documents).

The full application is a structured form for you to provide details that include information such as:
•    Where is the home located?
•    What are the top four repairs you would like to see addressed?
•    Is the primary contact for this application process the homeowner, or someone else, such as a family member, neighbor, or case worker?
•    Does at least one person who owns the home also live in the home? It is okay if there are renters, or if there is someone on Title who does not currently live there, but we do need to know.
•    What are the ages of the members of the household? What is the combined annual income of all people who contribute to the household income?
•    Are there any special considerations, such as a particular health condition, disability, or Veteran status that you would like to share with us?

What else do I need in order to apply?

We’ll need some documentation from you, as well. This might include IDs, utility bills, and property tax bills in addition to your application form, because they prove your identity, verify your income, and confirm homeownership. We take privacy very seriously and ensure your documents will stay safe. 

Here are some examples of documents you could be asked to provide a copy of. (Please do not send us originals!):
•    Photo IDs
•    Certificate of Title
•    Proof of occupancy, including space lease agreement if in a mobile home (for example, a utility bill) 
•    Homeowner’s insurance policy
•    Income documentation for all household members 18 years of age and older, tax returns, etc.

What happens next?

Once you apply, if it seems like the program could be a good fit for you, a qualified Habitat staff Inspector will conduct a Site Visit. This is a visit to your home, so that we can learn about your needs and make a recommendation on what we can address through the Home Repair Program. Finally, once an eligible Scope of Work is agreed upon and contractors are selected, the project will be scheduled and completed.Blog Feature - -  750x510px  4-1

Please be patient! Some programs will develop a wait list and it could take 6 months before your application is reviewed. Once it is reviewed, your repairs will likely be completed roughly 3 – 6 months later.

Have a question?

Contact our Home Repair Hotline at (510) 803-3388 or or download a Request for Service form in English Español Tagalog 繁體中文 - 简体中文Tiếng Việt - Hindi.


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