How Are Homeowners Selected?

Basic Info
Habitat does not discriminate in any way in the selection of its homeowners. Pemi-Valley Habitat (PVH) complies with all provisions of the federal housing law, including compliance with the Fair Housing Act, The Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Privacy Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
ANYONE is welcome to apply for a Habitat home (single individuals, families, elderly, non-traditional family groupings, etc). We have no regulations limiting the type of person who can apply for a home. However, there are certain criteria that we look for in our homeowners (see below). After reading the criteria, if you are still unsure whether you would qualify, please contact us! Many of our current homeowner families did not think they were well qualified - but after talking to a member of Habitat, they were encouraged to apply, and were eventually chosen for a home. We would rather have you ask than not apply!

    Family Selection Criteria
If you have questions, or would like to be added to the list of people to be notified of the next informational meeting for prospective homeowners call 536-1333 and leave a voicemail or e-mail

Criteria to Become a Homeowner
    1. You need to have lived in the service area for at least one year.
      • In order to complete an application, people need to have lived in the service area (which includes Ashland, Bridgewater, Bristol, Campton, Dorchester, Groton, Hebron, Holderness, New Hampton, Plymouth, Rumney, Thornton, Warren, and Wentworth) for at least one year.
    2. You must attend and informational meeting.
      • About six months before a new project is expected to begin, the Family Selection Committee holds an informational meeting at which Habitat and the process of family selection are explained. In order to apply for a home, you must attend this meeting. The meeting is publicized through area newspapers, the PVH website, local churches and various social agencies. A mailing is also made to families who have requested notification. Applications are given out and instructions on completing them are also given. Prospective homeowners complete an application which is reviewed by the Family Selection Committee. This application includes detailed information about family finances, credit history, and need for housing.
    3. You have to show a "need" for decent housing.
      • Need can be defined in a number of ways. If you are unsure if your situation would qualify, please contact us and ask before you decide not to apply! Generally, need is defined as:
        1. Living in substandard rental housing (lacks proper heat or water, in a deteriorated state, has issues such as mold, lead, or lack of accessibility for disabled members of family).
        2. Unable to afford housing - a family/individual may be living in one room in a relatives house due to inability to afford rent
        3. Housing cost too high for income - a family may be living in suitable housing, but the cost of housing takes up the majority of their income (housing cost as a percentage of income is too high)
        4. Family may own own land, but income level makes it impossible to build or utilize land
        5. Problems such as foreclosure or bad credit (due to extenuating circumstances) prevent qualifying for a traditional mortgage
        6. Do not qualify for traditional or assisted mortgage products
    4. You have to show an ability to pay a low cost mortgage.
      • Although Habitat families have low incomes and usually live currently in substandard housing, they must have the potential to pay back their mortgage. In most cases, Habitat homeowners pay less for their monthly payment (mortgage, taxes, & insurance) than they did for renting a substandard apartment. Anyone applying for a Habitat home needs to show that they have enough monthly income to pay for a Habitat home.
    5. You need to show a willingness to partner with Habitat.
      • All homeowners are expected to contribute AT LEAST 500 hours of "sweat equity" on a Habitat home (theirs or another build). No experience is required (volunteers are led by an experienced contractor who teaches necessary skills). If an individual is physically unable to help at the site, the hours can be completed on a Habitat committee.

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