At Habitat, our goal is to provide local families with a hand up into homeownership. Habitat homes are not free – instead, families who partner with us purchase their home from us and pay an interest-free mortgage that is geared-to-income. They also contribute up to 500 volunteer hours with our organization.
By paying an affordable mortgage, Habitat families are able to stop living paycheque to paycheque and start building up their savings and equity. Families are selected based on the following criteria:
- a gross family income between $47,871 and $75,130 (25th – 40th income percentile in Ottawa);
- have dependent children under the age of 18 at time of move in;
- are Canadian citizens or a permanent residents;
- are living in inadequate housing conditions;
- are steadily employed; and
- willing to contribute 500 volunteer hours.
Click here for the full list of criteria and to find out more about the Habitat Greater Ottawa homeownership process.
Habitat Greater Ottawa follows this set of criteria to ensure families are successful in all aspects of owning a home. Along with regular mortgage payments, there is also the financial stability needed to address the monthly and long-term costs of owning a home. These include, utilities, home maintenance, insurance and unexpected repairs. Our mortgage payments include property tax and for certain properties, condominium fees.
Who does Habitat help?
As seen in Canada’s Housing Continuum graphic below, Habitat’s affordable homeownership program provides a bridge from social/rental housing to market housing for low to mid-income working families. Families living in social housing are rarely able to save a down payment or qualify for a conventional mortgage, leaving them trapped in a social housing or rental situation indefinitely. We work with families from a range of backgrounds, including vulnerable and marginalized populations. Approximately 50 per cent of the families we serve are new Canadians from a variety of origins and six per cent are part of the Indigenous community.
What if I do not meet the Habitat homeownership criteria?
We know that there are far too many people without access to safe, decent and affordable housing. We understand that Canadians need a wide range of affordable housing options that Habitat Greater Ottawa, as a single charitable organization, may not be able to provide.
In Ottawa, there are several government and community organizations and programs that may be able to assist with your current housing needs. Below are several organizations with whom we are currently partnered:
- City of Ottawa (for emergency shelter)
- The Housing Registry
- Housing Help
- Live Work Play (People with intellectual disabilities)
- Wabano Centre (Indigenous community)
- Gignul Housing (Indigenous community)
- Wounded Warriors Canada
Even if you do not currently meet our homeownership criteria we encourage you to stay in touch with Habitat Greater Ottawa should your situation change. Please feel free to contact us at any time.