Homeownership

Lancaster Lebanon Habitat works in partnership with local families in need of a decent, affordable place to call home.

OUR PROGRAM

Our homebuyers contribute hundreds of hours of sweat equity towards the construction or renovation of their home, which includes working on the build site and taking classes that will strengthen self-sufficiency. The home is then sold to the family with affordable monthly mortgage payments.

A Note About Applications: Currently, we are not accepting new applications. Please check back periodically if you are interested in homeownership opportunities in Lancaster and Lebanon.

Income Eligibility

Applicants for homeownership must fall within our income guidelines (see chart here). In addition, applicants must have reasonable credit histories, a manageable level of debt and be willing and able to perform up to 400 hours of “sweat equity” to build their own homes.

Homeownership through Habitat may be right for you if you are prepared to:
  • Invest up to 400 hours of sweat equity into your Habitat home and the homes for other households.
  • Participate with Habitat for the entire time it will take to build your home, including mentor partnerships and educational classes.
  • Save money towards a 1 percent down payment for your home.
  • Commit to a 20 to 30-year legal obligation of a mortgage and to make your monthly payments on time.
  • Handle other legal responsibilities involved in owning a home, such as paying insurance and real estate taxes.
  • Pay for all utilities, including electricity, gas, water/sewer and phone service.
  • Assume responsibility for repair work on your home to prevent future problems.
  • Maintain an emergency reserve of cash for unexpected repair work.

PRELIMINARY QUALIFICATIONS

Ability to pay:

  • Must have sustainable income. This income may include earned income, public assistance, disability, SSI, SSDI, worker’s compensation, child support, alimony, retirement, pension, etc. Food stamps are not counted as income.
  • Debt must not be excessive in proportion to monthly income.
  • No liens or judgments.
  • No back Child Support payments.
  • Considered a first-time home buyer OR has not owned a home (single, duplex, mobile, etc.) in the last three years, unless through divorce or separation applicant is taken off of the original mortgage and note.
  • Consistent payment history with rent.
  • Ability to make 1 percent down payment and applicable closing costs.
  • 3 years since Bankruptcies/Foreclosures.
  • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • Must live or work in Lancaster or Lebanon County.

Need for Housing criteria:

  • Overcrowded living conditions.
  • Substandard living conditions. Poor physical condition of home.
  • Paying more than 30% of monthly gross income for housing expenses.
  • Denied a traditional mortgage.
  • Unsafe community within 3 blocks.
  • Have a need for handicapped accessibility.
  • Currently living in public housing, or Sec 8.

Willingness to partner criteria:

  • Returns application complete and on time.
  • Returns phone calls promptly and has consistent communication with the Habitat office.
  • Agrees to complete the required hours of sweat equity.
  • Agrees to save toward 1% down payment.
  • Agrees to attend homeowner workshops.
  • Creates safe environment for neighbors.
  • Applicant is not found as a listed sex or violent offender.
 

Fill out our homeownership inquiry form. (Si necesita una forma en español, por favor, manda un correo a AllysonW@llhfh.org o llama a la oficina a 717.392.8836.)  In conducting a credit analysis, there will be a $20 fee to reimburse Habitat for pulling a credit report. If you do not receive a response from our family services manager within one week of submitting, please call our office at 717.392.8836.