Habitat for Humanity is founded on the belief that we’re all in this together. COVID-19 is on the rise and we are taking decisive, unprecedented action to protect our community and slow the spread of this virus.
Our Oakland and Milpitas offices are currently closed until further notice. While our staff is continuing to serve our applicants and clients during this time, we are unable to accept walk-ins or hold in-person meetings. PLEASE MAIL IN ALL APPLICATIONS TO: 2619 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612.
If you have questions for regarding our homeownership services, please contact us at (510) 803-3344 or HomeownerInfo@HabitatEBSV.org.
We provide affordable homeownership opportunities to qualifying households, earning up to 120% of the Area Median Income, in Alameda, Contra Costa, and Santa Clara counties.
To qualify, you must show a need for housing, be willing to partner with Habitat by contributing sweat equity in the construction of your home, and demonstrate the ability to pay.
If you started a pre-application prior to the closure, you must complete it and have it in our office (not postmarked by March 31st but in our office) by March 31st to be considered for our Buyer Ready Group.
Pre-applications will re-open on August 2, 2021. At that time, interested applicants can follow the steps below and to access the pre-application.
Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley understands that there are many types of families, and all are welcome to apply to our program. You determine who your family is. Just a few examples of family are: an individual applying alone, a married couple with children, a single parent, a non-married couple, or a family that includes aunts, uncles, or parents. Unless there are circumstances outside of your control, you must have lived with all the household members shown on your pre-application and full application for at least 6 months.
All applicant(s) whose name will be on the title must show proof of legal U.S. residency and at least one applicant must show proof of permanent legal U.S. residency.
Habitat will verify applicant(s) status of legal residency by obtaining a copy of one of the following:
First, if after reading the Program Guidelines you’re not sure whether you qualify, please apply! Our staff will review your information to help you figure out if you qualify.
We build houses along with partner households who meet Habitat’s homeownership program guidelines. Some of the basic guidelines are: You must be a first-time homebuyer. Your income must be 120% or below the median household income for the county in which the home is located. You must have a need for housing, you must show the ability to pay an affordable mortgage loan for 30 years, and you must demonstrate a willingness to partner with Habitat. Please refer to the Program Guidelines for more information on qualifications for the program, or attend one of our homeowner education/orientation sessions.
Your mortgage payment (including principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) on your affordable first mortgage together with any Homeowner’s Association dues, a utility allowance, and a maintenance reserve will be no more than 35% of your gross monthly income. This helps to ensure that you are able to continue making payments on your home while having enough remaining income to provide a healthy, stable life for you and your family.
No, Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley homes must be owner-occupied and cannot be rented out.
No, but we do require proof of income. We will accept benefit statements and award letters for SSA and disability, as well as proof of payment for a pension plan. If you are employed through a company, we require at least 6 months of history with your current employer and 3 of your most recent paystubs. If you are self-employed, we require at least 3 years of tax returns (all pages) to verify your net profit.
No, but we can refer you to other programs that may be able to assist you.
You can register for one of our upcoming homeowner education/orientation sessions online. As we schedule orientations, we will update the website. You must attend a homeowner education/orientation session to qualify to purchase one of our homes.
Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley does not give away homes. We provide a hand up, not a handout. You will be purchasing your home, and we work with you to make sure you have an affordable housing cost after purchasing the home. Each applicant must agree to partner with us in the program, which includes providing all documentation needed as well as attending homebuyer education classes and completing sweat equity requirements.
More information can be found in our Program Guidelines or by attending one of our homeowner education/orientation sessions.
How long the process takes varies from applicant to applicant. There are many factors that can impact how long the process of becoming a Habitat homeowner can take including housing availability, meeting eligibility requirements and the need for housing. It could take longer depending on Habitat’s volume of pre-applications and other factors, such as the completeness of the documentation you provide or if you need housing or credit counseling to move forward in the process, and the availability of a home that meets your needs. We will keep you informed of where you are in the process along the way.
Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley sells homes to people who are looking for long-term ownership, but you may sell your home. Most of our partners continue to live in their homes for long periods of time. To help make sure that we are selling to households that need a home to live in and not investors, our partners sign long-term resale restriction agreements. Generally, during the term of the agreement, you can only sell the home if you first offer to sell the home to Habitat (and sometimes a city or county that provided funding to build your home) and you can only sell it at an amount so that it remains affordable to qualified buyers. Please call us for more details.
Sweat equity is the Habitat for Humanity term for partnering with us to help build your home and further Habitat’s mission. We require each Habitat partner household to complete between 250 hours and 500 hours of sweat equity depending on the construction type and location. Completion of sweat equity can take anywhere from 3 to 12 months.
We request a money order so we can pull a credit report for the applicant and co-applicant. Your credit report gives us a good indication of whether you have the ability to afford a mortgage payment on top of your existing financial responsibilities. We are looking for a history of consistent, on-time payments of your existing bills. We are also looking to make sure there are no major issues, such as a history of late payments, open collections, or open bankruptcies.
Habitat for Humanity is a 2-step application process. You will begin with a pre-application where we’re verifying basic information for the applicant and co-applicant and verifying income for your entire household.
At the time of completing the pre-application online, you will need to upload at minimum:
If you meet the program requirements, Habitat will invite you to complete a full application.
The full application will require a review of additional documentation that’s listed below.
Our online pre-application requires a 3-step verification process.
After verifying your contact information, you will receive a 2nd email with a link to begin the pre-application process. If you do not receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org within 5 minutes, please check your junk/spam folder.
Habitat recommends that you input all information and answer all questions before you begin uploading documentation. Sections such as “no income form”, will go away once you add employment information for the household member.
After you have submitted your application, the online application portal will send you a copy of your application and disclosures. Habitat has the right to make any changes to your application (for example updating your income or assets) to line up with our homeownership policies.
The red clock symbol means that you have not yet either completed a section or uploaded a document.
The red clock will go away once you have completed all sections, answered all questions, and uploaded all required documentation. You will receive a back checkmark when the section has met all requirements and is completed.
Common reasons why you still have a red clock symbol and not a checkmark:
Once you have completed all sections, uploaded your documentation, and completed all steps to the PDF and disclosures, you will receive an email notifying you that Habitat has received your documentation. Please allow 24 hours before contacting Habitat to see if we received it. Reviews will generally take from 3-15 days or sometimes longer depending on Habitat’s application capacity.
You may not sign, agree or certify on behalf of anyone who is required to sign and certify on the application.
On the pre-application, the applicant and co-applicant will have to sign, agree and certify.
On the full application, the applicant, co-applicant and all household members 18 and over must sign, agree and certify for themselves. Please read all disclosures before you sign, agree and certify.
Depending on your internet, you might have to refresh the screen if it is taking 3 minutes or longer to generate the PDF.
Your application will then be resubmitted back to Habitat.
“We are really grateful that we have the ability to do this. If it wasn’t for the house through Habitat, I don’t think this would be possible. The money other people make goes all to rent. Luckily, we have the house, so we do have the ability to do all these things for our kids.”
Lourdes, Habitat Homeowner