- What is a “Family Partner”?
- What is the process for becoming a Habitat-NYC homeowner?
Applicants must complete the following to become a Habitat- NYC Family Partner:
- Complete a Homeownership Application
- Provide all required documentation and attachments
- Meet income and credit guidelines
- Be a first time Homebuyer
- Attend Panel Interview (all members of the applicants household)
- Attend Family Partner Orientation
- Attend a 1-on-1 meeting
- Provide $2,500 down payment and begin monthly savings program (minimum $200/month requirement)
- Complete 200 hours of sweat equity per adult (up to 400 hours total)
- How long is the process?
- How are Family Partners selected?
- How much does a Habitat-NYC home cost?
- Are there income requirements?
- Does my credit have to be perfect?
- What is “Sweat Equity”?
- Who is considered a “First Time Homebuyer”?
- Where are Habitat-NYC homes?
- What types of home does Habitat-NYC develop?
- What is SONYMA?
- Does Habitat-NYC conduct criminal and/or sex offender checks?
- What if I already am pre-approved for a lender you don’t use?
- What if I want to move to a different Habitat home?
- Is there a maintenance fee?
- What will I pay for my mortgage?
- What is a panel interview?
- What happens at Orientation?
- What is 1-on-1?
Partnership is a key component of the Habitat for Humanity model. Habitat provides a hand up, not a handout, meaning that we are in active partnership with our Habitat homeowners. We affectionately apply the term “Family Partner” to applicants that have met all prerequisites required to be considered for Habitat-NYC homeownership.
The process, from start (application) to finish (keys to your new home), may take up to 18 months.
Family Partners are selected based on income, credit, need and willingness to partner (i.e. sweat equity).
The cost of a Habitat-NYC home is tied to a family's income. Habitat-NYC families will pay no more than 33% of their income in monthly housing costs.
Applicants must earn between 50-80% of the Area Median Income.
No; however, applicants must have a credit score of at least 620.
“Sweat equity” is Habitat’s name for the labor that Habitat homeowners contribute to building their houses and the houses of their neighbors, as well as the time they spend in financial and home management courses. Homeowners do sweat equity after they are selected to be Habitat partners, but before they complete and move into their new houses. Sweat equity is a keystone of the Habitat program: important to partner families, attractive to donors, adopted by many other housing organizations it goes to the heart of our partnership approach.
Habitat-NYC uses the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) definition of First Time Homebuyer, which is an individual who has had no ownership in a principal residence during the last 3 years.
Habitat-NYC builds throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City; however, Habitat’s current focus is in the Central Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Ocean Hill-Brownsville until 2013.
Habitat-NYC currently builds primarily 2-3 bedroom co-ops and condominiums.
State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) is a state agency that provides low-interest mortgages to low- and moderate-income homebuyers.
Habitat-NYC complies with all federal state and local Fair Housing Laws. All adult residents of applicant households (age 18 and above) are checked against the National Sex Offender Public website.
In order to maintain affordability, Humanity-NYC uses SONYMA-insured loans. If your pre-approved lender is not SONYMA-approved, it cannot be used. The SONYMA insured loan requires a minimum of 1% down and a 2% fixed-rate for 30 years. This is a key way we ensure long-term affordability.
You are buying a home. We do not transfer owners between development projects. If you do decide to move, you can sell your home based on the requirements set forth in your offering plan.
Yes. You will be buying a condominium or cooperative, and you will be required to pay monthly maintenance fees.
The term of your mortgage will be 30 years, with a 2% fixed interest rate. Your total monthly mortgage payment and maintenance charges will not exceed 33% of your monthly gross income.
All applicants (including all members of the household) approved upon application review are required to attend a panel interview. Members of the Habitat-NYC staff and board conduct these Interviews. The 30-minute session provides an opportunity for an applicant and his/her family to articulate their interest in Habitat-NYC, their need for affordable housing and why they believe they should be selected as a Family Partner. It also provides an opportunity for applicants to ask questions of Habitat-NYC staff concerning the program, the process, etc.
Newly selected family partners are invited to attend a welcoming event with Habitat-NYC staff to discuss in depth all they can expect during the 6-18 month process of becoming a Habitat-NYC Family Partner. Topics such as the mortgage process, performing sweat equity and the closing process are covered.
Following the mandated Orientation, newly selected family partners will meet individually with a Habitat staff member to discuss their individualized savings plan, provide their down payment and initiate their sweat equity plans.