Get Housing Help


Qualifications Overview

  1. Are You Ready To Provide A Safe, Decent, Affordable Home For Your Family?
  2. Are you unable to obtain a conventional home loan?
  3. Is your current home overpriced, overcrowded or in disrepair?
  4. Are you willing to help us build your new home?
  5. Are you able to make monthly mortgage and escrow payments?


There must be a demonstrated need in order to qualify for a Habitat Home. Need is determined by a family's current living conditions. Some examples of need are outline below (this list is not all-inclusive):

  • Structural/mechanical problems in building
  • Visible holes or large cracks
  • Leaks, hazardous/toxic materials
  • Electrical  problems
  • Plumbing problems
  • Appliances not working
  • Inadequate sleeping arrangements
  • More than 2 persons share a room
  • Different gendered children sharing a room
  • Persons having to sleep on the floor
  • Unsanitary conditions or health risks
  • Bugs
  • Rodents
  • Sewage problems
  • Stairway in disrepair
  • Allergy concerns
  • Temporary or transitional housing
  • Family currently living with relatives
  • Family in emergency shelter
  • Homelessness
  • Current housing does not meet the physical need
  • Unable to obtain a conventional mortgage

Ability to Pay

The ability to pay is determined by information provided and collected during the application process.

Information on the paper application, pay stubs, benefit statements, previously filed federal tax returns, and credit reports are examples of the resources used to determine this ability.

Applicants Must Have:

  • A steady, reliable source of income and demonstrate financial responsibility
  • The ability to pay a monthly house payment at approximately 25% of gross monthly income (taxes and insurance included)
  • The ability to pay projected monthly utilities (electric/gas & water/sewer)
  • NOT have filed for bankruptcy within the past 2 years
  • NOT have outstanding collections, liens or judgments that cannot reasonably be paid by the completion of the home build

Willingness to Partner

A partner family must be willing to complete "sweat-equity" hours.

"Sweat-equity" is when a partner family takes part in building their own home and other Habitat homes and may include activities such as clearing the lot, painting, helping with construction, working in the Habitat office, or other approved activities.

  • A two-adult household is required to perform a minimum number of sweat equity hours hours.
  • A single-adult family is also required to complete sweat equity.
  • A portion of the sweat equity hours can be completed by family and friends.
  • All of the hours must be completed before the partner family can purchase the home.
  • Specific requirements for Sweat Equity hours will be discussed with the applicant during the pre application process.

In addition, the partner family must also be willing to attend home buyer education classes.


All applicants must provide documentation of residency and eligibility to work in the United States.

One of the following documents is accepted as proof of both residency and eligibility:

  • US Passport
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
  • Foreign Passport with temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa
  • Unexpired Employment Authorization Document with a Photo ID (Form I-766)
  • Unexpired Foreign Passport with Form I-94
  • Passport from Federated States of Micronesia or the Republic of the Marshall Islands with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI.

If one of the above cannot be provided, one document from each category below is required:

Category 1 Category 2

  • Driver’s License
  • Federal, State, or Local Government ID Card
  • Voter’s Registration Card
  • School ID card with a photograph
  • Native American tribal document
  • S. Military identification card/ Military Dependents ID card
  • S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card
  • Canadian Driver's License
  • Social Security Card
  • Birth Certificate
  • Certification of Birth Abroad (Form FS-545)
  • US Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)
  • Resident Citizen ID Card (Form I-179)
  • Unexpired Employment Authorization by Dept. of Homeland Security
  • Native American tribal document
  • Certification of Report of Birth (Form DS-1350)
  • Native American Tribal document
  • Employment Authorization document issued by the Dept. of Homeland Security

How To Apply

First Step

To apply for A Habitat Home you must contact us:

The Application Process

  • Each affiliate in South Carolina has an application process that it follows. The steps below are meant to be a guideline only. Please contact your local affiliate to discuss their specific application process.
  • Attend a Homeowner Applicant Meeting.

Our staff will go through the entire homeowner program, answer any questions potential applicants may have, as well as dispel some of the myths about Habitat. At the end of each meeting, applications are distributed and reviewed in detail.

You must attend an Applicant Meeting in order to receive an application.

You must submit your application within 30 days after the meeting.

1. Fill out your application.
2. Make copies of any of the documents listed below that apply to your situation:

  • Federal Income tax returns (form 1040) for the past two years you filed
  • Current pay stubs (last two pay periods)
  • Current bank statements (checking and savings)
  • Current benefit statements (SSI, SSDI, Food Share, Section 8 Housing, etc…)
  • Child support court order and payment history for the past two years
  • Name, address and Phone number of your current landlord
  • Proof of residency and eligibility to work in the U.S.

3. Complete eight hours of community service. This must be completed within 30 days of the application meeting you attend.

4. Schedule a meeting with the family services coordinator to review your application for completeness. This must be completed within 30 days of the application meeting you attend.

5. After your application is submitted, staff will do an initial review of your Need, Ability to Pay, and Willingness to Partner with Habitat. Staff will pull civil/criminal records, obtain your credit report and request a landlord reference.

6. If your application is complete, it will be reviewed by the Family Selection Committee.

7. If your application passes the initial review, a home visit will be arranged.

The home visit consists of a tour of your current home and an interview of your family by two members of the Family Selection Committee. The purpose of the home visit is to discuss the Habitat housing program in further detail and gain further information on your family's current living conditions.

All heads of the household must participate and the entire family should be present.

After your home visit, your application is reviewed by the entire Family Selection Committee.

The committee reviews information submitted on the application form, financial documents and information obtained at the home visit to determine whether your application meets the program guidelines.

If approved, your application is forwarded to the Habitat Board of Directors for a final review and approval.

If the committee does not approve your application, you will be notified in writing with the reason for denial.

If approved by the Board of Directors, you will be contacted to set a date for an Acceptance Meeting.