Application Process Update
In order to benefit potential applicants, our affiliate is working to simplify the application for our homeownership program, as well as reorganize the application and selection processes. Homeowner selection will continue to include a double-blind process to protect applicants from any kind of bias, and applications will soon be accepted throughout more of the year than previous. Stay tuned for more information in coming months.
Do you Qualify?
Applicants must have the ability to pay a long-term mortgage.
Habitat homes are not given away. Approved applicants will pay an affordable long-term home mortgage. Households must demonstrate steady income and must meet income criteria outlined below.
Applicants must be willing to partner with us.
Approved applicants must demonstrate their willingness to partner with Habitat by investing sweat equity in their home and the homes of other Habitat homeowners. They must also attend monthly homeowner education classes.
Applicants must have a need for housing.
Need is established based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to: condition of current housing, space considerations, and cost burden.
As part of the Homeownership Program, we offer Home on the Horizon. This series of workshops includes courses on personal finance, credit, and budgeting led by a certified credit counselor from Horizons Financial. We also provide classes on home maintenance which are led by the Habitat for Humanity construction managers. Each class in the series is free and open to the public. Join us at Kirkwood Community College, Iowa City Campus. Contact us for more information on Home on the Horizon classes.
Be sure to read all of the information on this page before filling out the application. We also encourage you to review the Homeownership FAQs page.
Please Note: Income numbers are approximate and depend on the number of people in the household and may change as new data is released by HUD. Meeting the stated eligibility requirements does not guarantee admittance into the program. We reserve the right to prioritize applications that demonstrate the lowest qualifying income and/or the greatest need.
How to Apply
If you are interested in purchasing a Habitat home, click on the Homeownership Application button to download the application file. Complete the application and return it to the IVHFH office. In order for IVHFH to accept the application, you must return the complete application with all required documents (see page 2 of the application). Incomplete application packets will not be accepted.
Please Note: IVHFH is not currently accepting applications from Johnson County residents. Applications for Cedar, Iowa, and Washington Counties are accepted year-round.
After returning the completed application and all accompanying documents, applicants can expect the following:
1. Upon receiving all required information, the Homeowner Selection Committee will review the application and pull a credit report on all applicants. Applicants will be notified if the Homeowner Selection Committee recommends they move forward to the next step in the process.
2. Applicants will be contacted to schedule a home visit with representatives of the Homeowner Selection Committee who will visit the current home and review the application with the applicant.
3. The Homeowner Selection Committee will review all documents and current housing status of the applicant. The committee will select applications that demonstrate the greatest need for housing in combination with an ability to re-pay the cost of the house. Recommendations are made to the Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors who will have final approval.
4. If approved, the household will enter the Approved Applicant status and will begin working towards home ownership with Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity!
Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity is a small non-profit organization. Because the need for affordable housing in Johnson County and the surrounding areas is significant, IVHFH receives far more applications than it can serve. Consequently, many applicants, despite meeting the criteria for the Homeownership Program and demonstrating significant need, are not approved each year. At any step in the application process, an application can be denied for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: need, unsatisfactory credit or debt-to-income ratio, annual income failing to meet guidelines, misinformation, or household instability.
Expectations for Approved Applicants and Habitat Homeowners
When an applicant is approved, the hard works begins. Although it is not an easy process, the payoff in the end will be worth it. New skills are gained, friendships are formed, and lasting memories are created while building and then purchasing a Habitat home.
Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity expects the following of approved applicants and Habitat homeowners:
1. Once an applicant is approved by the IVHFH Board of Directors, applicants will sign a contract with Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity that explains the expectations of partnership.
2. Each adult in an approved household will need to complete 250 hours of sweat equity, or volunteer hours.
3. Homeowners performing sweat equity hours are expected to be actively involved in the work being performed, and achieve a reasonable quality of work to add to the benefit of the total work of Habitat.
4. Habitat homeowners will be in the public eye and are asked to share their story with IVHFH and the public, along with photos of household members.
5. Habitat homeowners are asked to show appreciation to the community members who assisted in building their homes.
6. Habitat homeowners will be required to pay their monthly mortgage on a timely basis. Upon completion of the home, approved applicants receive an affordable mortgage through a partnership between Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity and Hills Bank and Trust.
7. Habitat homeowners are expected to maintain their homes, both inside and outside.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S.A. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. The selection of applicants who purchase homes from Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity will be done by the Homeowner Selection Committee in a way that does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, marital status, or national origin.