Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville is no longer accepting applications year round. Applications are only being accepted during an open enrollment period.

Our fall open enrollment period ended September 13, 2019. All applications and fees submitted after this deadline will be returned to the address listed on the application. Our next open enrollment period for accepting applications will begin in February 2020. Please press "Continue" at the bottom of this page to submit an Expression of Interest form. Interested Applicants need to only complete ONE Expression of Interest form.

For more info, contact Kathy Kessinger, Habitat's Homebuyer Financial Services Manager, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 502.805.1401.

1. How do you choose homebuyers for Habitat homes?
Selection is based on three criteria:

a. Demonstrated need

b. Ability to pay a mortgage

c. Willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity

After an applicant submits a completed application for housing with required supporting documents, the Homebuyer Selection Committee begins evaluating an applicant’s financial eligibility. This consists of reviewing income documentation and a credit report. Items that may detract from an applicant’s financial eligibility include outstanding collections, excessive debts, recent bankruptcy and any unpaid judgments or liens. The Committee is also looking for sufficient, stable income to ensure the applicant is ready for the financial responsibility of homeownership.

If the applicant meets financial requirements, there may be a home visit. At a home visit, the Committee gathers information about the applicant’s need for housing and willingness to be an active partner with Habitat throughout the program. After the Homebuyer Selection Committee approves an applicant’s eligibility, it presents recommended applicants to the Habitat Board of Directors for approval.

Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, age, handicap, religion, marital status, or because all or part of the applicant's income is derived from public assistance.

All decisions are based on Equal Housing Laws, which Habitat adheres to strictly.

a. Need for Housing
"Need for housing" generally means that an applicant's current housing is inadequate. The Homebuyer Selection Committee typically chooses applicants who can prove at least one of the following housing conditions:

• Substandard Housing: Your housing may have maintenance and/or structural issues that create health and safety problems (such as mold, poor heating or plumbing or unsafe construction). Your house is overcrowded or is not accessible for handicapped/disabled family members.

• Temporary Housing: You have temporary living arrangements or transitional/subsidized housing.

• Excessive Cost: Your total housing costs (rent and necessary utilities) are more than 30% of your income.

• Unsafe: Your neighborhood is unsuitable or unsafe for family members, especially children or elderly/disabled individuals.

b. Ability to Pay
This is our term for your financial health. Qualified buyers have diverse credit histories. Some have little to no credit. Others have some or decent credit.

• Most qualified buyers have some debt, like auto loans, student loans or medical debt.

• Most qualified buyers have little to no debt in collections.

• Every qualified buyer should have a plan to reduce debt over the long run.

i. What is good credit?
Good credit means that you pay all your bills on time each month and you do not have excessive debt. Your credit is your responsibility and maintaining good credit is one of the most important things you can do for your financial health. Having good credit means that you have a good credit report. A credit report is a record of the personal financial transactions that make up your credit history, such as credit cards, car loans, personal loans and negative items such as collections from utility, telephone or even medical companies.

Even with bad credit, you can still apply to Habitat and we will tell you if your credit should be fixed before proceeding. Judgments and liens should be paid, and you will be asked about collections. We do not expect perfect credit.

How does your credit history look? You can check your credit history by running your credit report. You are able to receive a free credit report once a year from each of the three reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. To obtain a copy of your free credit report, visit: https://www.annualcreditreport.com.

ii. What if my credit report shows outstanding collections, debt, bankruptcies, judgments and/or liens?
The Homebuyer Selection Committee considers the whole financial picture of an applicant and looks for applicants who are ready to accept the responsibility of homeownership. At the same time, we do not want to sell an applicant a home that she or he cannot afford. We do not expect applicants to have a perfect credit history. We do require applicants with negative credit accounts to have a plan to fix any outstanding collections or past-due items. We are unable to partner with applicants who have active, unpaid judgments or liens. Excessive debts and/or very recent unresolved collections may also disqualify an applicant.

Applicants who have filed for bankruptcy in the past should show a good credit history since the bankruptcy, and bankruptcies must be discharged at least two years (24 months) prior to the application for housing. Certain requirements may be waived in cases of personal or natural disaster.

If most of your credit problems are due to medical bills, please note that we do not ignore the medical collections. A hospital or doctor can garnish your wages and potentially foreclose on any property that you might own. However, Habitat will assist you in working on a plan to clear these collections.

If you are concerned about your credit history, you can contact: Apprisen Financial Advocates at 502.458.8840 or the Office of Resilience and Community Services at 270.847.4643 to obtain free and confidential credit counseling.

You may access one free copy of your credit report each year at https://www.annualcreditreport.com.

iii. What expenses does Habitat consider in the Ability to Pay?
Habitat considers what shows up on your credit report: revolving credit (credit cards), childcare, car insurance, life insurance, medical insurance, car loans, student loans and any other type of installment loan, etc.

c. Willingness to Partner
This is our term for participation in the program. Meaning you return any documentation requested or needed into the appropriate person(s) on time. By entering into the Habitat program, you agree to attend financial literacy training and monthly homebuyer workshops, and to complete 400 hours of sweat equity.

i. What is sweat equity?
Sweat equity is the work a Habitat homebuyer spends helping to build his/her own home as well as the homes of other homebuyers. It is a central principle in Habitat’s mission of building community and partnering with individuals and families to provide “a hand up, NOT a handout.” Providing the opportunity for our homebuyers to work alongside volunteers and future neighbors to build their homes is one of the most unique, empowering, and rewarding aspects of Habitat for Humanity.

Once you are approved by Habitat's Board of Directors to become a part of Habitat's homebuyer program, you must complete the required 400 sweat equity hours at Habitat’s construction sites, in workshops, and in the classroom. It is important for a homebuyer to give consistent, active participation. In fact, most homebuyers exceed the minimum required 400 hours. Qualified buyers, friends and family may help a homebuyer by volunteering with Habitat and donating their hours to help fulfill your sweat equity requirement.

If a homebuyer has conditions that prevent him/her from volunteering on an active construction site, staff will arrange for other opportunities to fulfill the sweat equity requirement.

ii. I have to help build my house. What if I don't know how?
Habitat does not require any previous construction skills or knowledge to be a future homeowner or volunteer. We have a fully trained staff and long-time, regular volunteers who are eager to teach our homebuyers and volunteers the skills they need to be successful on the construction site.

iii. I have a child living with me that is 18 years or older. Does he/she need to complete sweat equity?
If your child is 18 years or older, they do not need to complete sweat equity. However, they are more than welcome to contribute their time and participate in earning sweat equity for the household.

If your child is under 17 years or younger, there are restrictions to working on a Habitat construction site. See a Habitat staff member for more information.

Lastly, every person 18 years or older, who is listed on an application, is required to submit to a National Sex Offender Registry Check and Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons list ("SDN List") check.

2. Who is an eligible applicant?
Habitat for Humanity of Metro Louisville's mission is to provide safe, affordable homes for individuals and families in need of housing. We serve applicants whose total household income falls between 30% and 80% of Area Median Income as defined by HUD. Eligibility for the Habitat homeownership program is different from the "ability to pay" section.

Family Size Minimum Income Maximum Income
1 Person $16,050 $42,800
2 People $18,350 $48,900
3 People $20,650 $55,000
4 People $22,900 $61,100
5 People $24,750 $66,000
6 People $26,600 $70,900
7 People $28,400 $75,800
8 People $30,250 $80,700

 

3. Do I have to be married or have children to be a Habitat homebuyer?
No. Individuals or families can achieve homeownership through Habitat.

4. Countable Income
On the application, we ask you to disclose all of your household income, including non-cash income, such as food stamps and housing assistance because it helps us understand your monthly budget (see below for one exception).

However, not all income will count for eligibility purposes. To determine eligibility, we only include cash income that we can reasonably expect to last at least three years. The source of your cash income does not matter, just its duration. Income can be from work, public assistance, retirement, child support, social security, or any other source of cash income. Income from employment is not required. For all income, you must submit sufficient documentation to verify that you receive it.

In general, the following income does not count towards eligibility:

• Non-cash income like food stamps or WIC

• Unemployment benefits

• Gift income from relatives or friends

• Certain public programs with limits on the duration of assistance such as KTAP or AFDC

ONE EXCEPTION - We can count (and often do count) child support, alimony or maintenance support income, but you may ask us to exclude this income in our mortgage underwriting. This is the only source of income you can ask us to exclude, if you want to.

a. My children receive social security. How does this affect my income?
We count all income that will be in the family for three years or more. Write on a separate sheet and tell us how you intend to replace that income if it expires within three years.

b. I have a boyfriend/girlfriend who will not be a co-owner, but will be living in the house. How do you handle this?
All household income must be counted in the calculation used to determine need. He/she do not need to be a co-owner.

5. What if I am not financially ready to apply?
Homeownership is a huge responsibility. Habitat’s goal is to help you become not just a homeowner, but a successful homeowner. If homeownership is your ultimate goal, but you’re not quite financially ready to apply, click this link to get started: https://www.readynest.com/getting-ready-to-buy-a-house/afford-to-buy-home. This is an online course that you can complete at your own pace.

6. What can I do to prepare before applying to Habitat?
If you plan to apply for Habitat’s homeownership program during the next open enrollment period, you can prepare by collecting your financial documents. Get a recent copy of your credit report and check to make sure the information is correct. You can get one free copy of your credit report each year at https://www.annualcreditreport.com.

If you are concerned about your credit history, you can contact: Apprisen Financial Advocates at (502) 458-8840 or the Office of Resilience and Community Services at (270) 847-4643 to obtain free and confidential credit counseling.

7. If my application for Habitat's homeownership program is denied, can I reapply later?
Absolutely. We have limited available spots in our homeownership program. Sadly, this means we cannot accept every qualified applicant. If an applicant is not approved during the current open enrollment period, we encourage him/her to improve eligibility (if applicable) and reapply during a future open enrollment period.

All applicants will receive a letter stating why they were not chosen and what can be done to better their chances of being accepted later. Some of our homebuyers were denied the first time they applied due to outstanding collections and debts or income that was below our limits or other issues. They successfully improved their eligibility, reapplied and were accepted into the program.

8. What happens if my application is approved?
If your application is approved, you join the Habitat program as a homebuyer. You will attend an orientation and receive all the information you need to start working on your 400 sweat equity hours. You can expect that being a Habitat homebuyer is as demanding as an additional part-time job, with a minimum of 25 hours per month. It is an intense program and very demanding of your time.

9. How is Habitat different from a traditional bank / home builder?
Habitat is a nonprofit organization that provides three distinct services in the homeownership process: home construction, mortgage financing and mortgage servicing. These services would normally be given by for-profit real estate businesses. Additionally, Habitat staff members serve as housing mentors, here to support our homebuyers in learning the ins and outs of homeownership, getting through challenging times and celebrating successes.

By providing these three services, Habitat is able to offer its homeowners a substantial amount of savings. We are able to open the door to homeownership for those who would not be able to buy a home on their own.

The costs of Habitat homes are also affordable due to the house sponsorships from corporations, churches, individuals and private foundations and from the revenue of Habitat homeowner mortgages.

Since Habitat builds homes with affordability in mind, Habitat homebuyers have more limited choices about their homes than someone buying from a traditional home builder. While Habitat homebuyers are able to choose things like the exterior paint color of the home, the homebuyer will have limited choices about things such as the location of the home or the number of bedrooms and bathrooms inside the home.

10. What does it take to be disqualified as a Habitat homebuyer?

• Lying or not being truthful on any part of the application.

• 2. Showing an unwillingness to partner. For example: Not completing the sweat equity or making closing cost payments on time.

• 3. Loss of income that would make it difficult or impossible to make a mortgage payment.

• 4. Taking on NEW debt! Do not take on any new debt. Any additional debts (including, but not limited to: student loans, car loans, credit card debt) could be grounds for an automatic de-selection or denial if you have yet to be approved.

11. How much does a Habitat home cost?
In 2019, Habitat will sell homes ranging in price of about $85,000 for a three-bedroom home up to $130,000 for a four-bedroom home. We package our mortgages to make them affordable for you. Prices vary, but you would know more prior to signing any paperwork. Habitat homes are sold to our homebuyers for no profit and are financed with an affordable mortgage. The cost of the homes may be different depending on the size of the house, taxes, and insurance. It would take 20 or 25 years to pay off Habitat’s no-interest mortgage. Closing costs are $1,800, which are payable by closing (not approval). There are no hidden fees or surprise charges.

Monthly mortgage payments vary depending on the length of the mortgage, but will not be more than 20-30% of a homeowner’s monthly income. Monthly mortgage payments include an escrow for homeowner's insurance and taxes.

12. How long does it take before I can move into a home?
Habitat for Humanity is not a quick housing solution. The application process takes between one and three months. If an applicant is accepted into Habitat's homeownership program, the process from acceptance through moving into a home can take between eight months to two years, depending on available funding, construction schedules and the homebuyers sweat equity progress. (Sweat equity is the work a Habitat homebuyer devotes helping to build his/her own home as well as the homes of other homebuyers.)

13. What are Habitat homes like?
Habitat for Humanity, in partnership with its homebuyers, builds safe, decent, affordable homes. Our homeowners feel comfortable and secure in their new homes. Since we build houses with affordability in mind, Habitat homebuyers have limited choices about their homes, including the location of the home.

14. Where do you build Habitat homes?
Habitat homes are located throughout Metro Louisville. Habitat builds affordable homes in areas where we can obtain land. In 2019, we expect to build in the Portland, Westport (not building here until 2020), Cane Run, Park Hill, Smoketown, California, and Russell neighborhoods. Habitat is also building in east Jefferson County. We MAY have availability in various South End neighborhoods. Habitat homebuyers agree to live in the areas in which we have available to build. Homebuyers are given a choice from all available lots and they may choose from those options. (Check back often as these neighborhoods change frequently.)

For more information, contact Kathy Kessinger, Habitat's Homebuyer Financial Services Manager, at 502.805.1401 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.