Want to Own a Habitat Home?
Is your family looking for an affordable way to buy your first home?
Habitat Greater Ottawa’s Affordable Homeownership Program provides an opportunity for families to move into homeownership and make affordable monthly payments on their home while building equity over the long-term.
Homeownership provides a strong foundation for families to build a better future and thrive in a stable long-term home. Under the Affordable Homeownership Program, families purchase their home at fair market value and commit volunteer hours to help build Habitat homes and community connections.
Supported by donations, government grants, volunteers and community and corporate partnerships, Habitat helps families by giving them a foothold in the housing market. Because the impacts of owning a home are long lasting and life changing.
Habitat build locations, housing types, homeownership criteria and mortgage models differ depending on the development. As a result, we are updating our application process. Please check back for details on these changes as they become available.
How to Apply
Families must meet the following criteria in order to qualify for a Habitat home:
- Must be a first-time homeowner and current renter;
- Total family household income (before taxes) between $47,871 and $75,130;
- Children under the age of 18 – please see *Exemption information below;
- Canadian citizen or a permanent resident;
- Living somewhere that does not meet the family’s needs;
- Steadily employed; and
- Able and willing to contribute 500 volunteer hours (350 for single-parent families) on the build site or with other Habitat projects and community activities.
*EXEMPTION: When assessing applications for the accessible units under the Eligibility Criteria, child[ren] 18 years of age or older may be considered if they are a “dependent” and a “person[s] with disabilities”.
A “DEPENDENT” is considered to be a child, spouse, parent, or other relative to whom one contributes all or a major amount of necessary physical and/or financial support.
“PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES” include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.
- The application process is thorough, and screening can take between three to four months.
- Applications are accepted online only at certain times throughout the year, as homes become available.
- Selected families are typically chosen 12 to 18 months in advance of their home being built to allow families enough time to complete the required volunteer hours.
To stay up to date on our future build and application timelines, click here to sign up for the HabiChat e-Newsletter.
How the Application Process Works
The Family Selection Committee, composed of community volunteers, reviews all applications based on the Eligibility Criteria. The Family Selection Committee then makes a recommendation to the Family Approvals Committee which makes the final decision on families approved into the Affordable Homeownership Program.
You must submit your completed application online, including all supporting documents.
The Family Selection Committee will review applications on a rotating basis, and as homes become available. You may be asked at this stage for additional documentation or information, if necessary.
The Family Selection Committee will select applicants who meet the eligibility criteria and arrange for a home visit.
The Family Selection Committee will then review all eligible applicants based on their home visits along with financial and other criteria required to make a final evaluation.
The Family Selection Committee will present their recommendations to the Family Approvals Committee, which makes the final decision as to which families are selected to join the Affordable Homeownership Program.
Selected families will be contacted and asked to sign a Partnership Agreement.
Community volunteer members on the Family Partners Committee are assigned to each family to answer questions and guide families throughout the entire homeownership process.
Once a house is finished and the family has completed 100% of their volunteer hours, they will be given the keys to move in.
**Families who are not selected will be notified by letter. You can re-apply the following year should your circumstances change.
We know that there are far too many people without access to safe, decent and affordable housing. We also understand that families 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 government and community organizations that may be able to assist with your current housing needs. Below are several organizations that we partner with:
Interested in finding out more about our Affordable Homeownership Program? Sign up for our e-Newsletter (select to receive the Homeownership Information emails).