“My heart told me this is happening!” that’s what Daisy said when she heard her family finally qualified to begin work on a home with Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona.

After relocating and landing in a small apartment in Gilbert, the family was excited to have a space they could call their own. They applied for a home at the suggestion of her son’s teachers. They knew the stability of owning an affordable home meant their son could now focus on school and his future.

A hand up, not a hand out.

Habitat families like Daisy’s aren’t just handed keys to a home. They’re selected via an application process to determine their need for adequate housing, an ability to pay, and willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity. Habitat Family Services department works closely with a Family Selection Committee when considering the numerous applicants and look for three things:

A need for adequate housing: Overcrowded housing conditions, excessive rental expense (more than 30% of income spent on housing, not including utilities), and an inability to secure conventional financing from a traditional lender are a few of the factors used to determine the need for adequate housing.  Today, many Maricopa County residents are paying up to 50% of their income on rent.

An ability to pay an affordable mortgage: For Habitat, we evaluate based on the median income for Maricopa and Pinal Counties. The gross annual household must not exceed 80% of the median depending on the size of the family. There must also be a two-year history of stable income, ability to cover costs of approximately $3,500, and an acceptable credit history, and monthly long-term debt payments, including estimated mortgage payment, shouldn’t exceed 41% of the family’s income.

A willingness to partner with Habitat: Habitat families must also be willing to contribute 200 – 400 hours of sweat equity toward the renovating or building of Habitat homes. or someone else’s home. They must be willing to live in the neighborhood where Habitat homes are being built and follow city and subdivision rules and regulations. In addition, they are required to attend mandatory home maintenance and financial literacy classes.

This process ensures that the future Habitat home buyer is fully vested in their own future and understands the responsibilities that come with home ownership. Out of every one hundred applications Habitat receives, roughly six may qualify. The process can seem stringent, but makes for better neighbors, a more informed public and stronger communities. 

Every Habitat home makes for a stronger community.

Each year Habitat partners with Arizona families, local sponsors and donors, and thousands of volunteers to repair, renovate, and build homes for these qualified families. In fiscal year 2017, more than 12,000 Habitat volunteers came alongside more than 330 families here in Maricopa county.  For neighborhoods, having families who are not only able to afford their homes but who are proud of where they live, is also important to building strong communities. Affordable home ownership serves as the foundation of strength, stability, and self-reliance for parents and children.  Because of this, Daisy’s family’s courage and willingness to partner with Habitat, today her son, Illario Jr. is actively pursuing his dream, attending college and working toward a career in the medical field.  

You can watch their story here… 

Contact us today to learn more about affordable home ownership