Habitat GO Homeowner FAQ
Habitat GO is helping families in Greater Ottawa to build a better life through affordable homeownership.
Here you’ll find answers to the most common homeowner questions we get asked like “How are Habitat Future Homeowners chosen?”, “What is involved with the volunteer hours?”, and “How much would a monthly mortgage payment be?”.
Frequently Asked Questions
How are Habitat future homeowners chosen?
Habitat families are families in need of affordable housing who want to help themselves and others to become homeowners. They must fill out a Home Application Form and send it to our Family Services Manager.
In the application form we ask about:
- The family
- Financial and employment situations
- Current housing conditions
- Willingness to partner with Habitat in future projects
How are applications screened?
Applications are screened for eligibility based on three basic criteria:
- The ability to pay a long-term, interest-free mortgage
- A family’s willingness to contribute 500 volunteer hours (350 hours for single-parent families) to Habitat GO and to be a good will “ambassador” for us.
- Degree of a family’s need
How long does it take to apply for a Habitat home?
The application process is thorough and can take as long as four months. Applications are accepted throughout the year. Please call 613-749-9950 ext. 225 for more information. The Family Selection Committee, composed of dedicated volunteers from the community, review all applications and then make a recommendation to the Board of Directors.
What is involved with the volunteer hours?
Habitat GO requires each family to commit 500 volunteer hours, single-parent families need to complete 350 hours, There is no compensation for these volunteer hours. Examples of how to accumulate volunteer hours include: constructing one’s own home or the homes of others; participating in publicity and fundraising events; office work; volunteering in our ReStores; and attending family orientation meetings. Family and/or friends can also contribute required hours.
How much would a monthly mortgage payment be?
Habitat homes are sold to families based on the appraised value of the house. The long-term mortgage is repaid with monthly payments that are based upon the family’s income. Mortgage Payments will never exceed 25% of the total household income. Monthly mortgage payments include house payments, insurance and property taxes. Habitat GO reviews household income annually and will adjust payments accordingly.
Can I sell my home after having lived in it for a few years?
Habitat GO retains all rights on the house should the homeowner wish to sell via its “Buy Back Policy.” Habitat GO has first right of refusal on the home and will in turn sell that home to another deserving Habitat GO family.
Must total income be reported or just full-time income only?
Habitat GO looks at total household income. Discretionary consideration may be given for non-taxable income such as: child tax credits, support payments and disability pensions. Homeowners must disclose all income of all family members.
Is there an age limitation established for children when they are living at home?
There are no age limitations, however, Habitat’s mandate is to help break the cycle of poverty by providing strength, stability and self-reliance for future generations. Habitat GO believes that every child deserves a stable start in a safe and secure home.