Building hope, changing lives

Habitat's Family Selection Criteria

What qualifications must my family meet to be accepted?

Affordable home ownership for low-income families sounds too good to be true, but it isn’t. Habitat offers zero-interest, 20 to 30 year mortgages with maximum payments (including taxes and insurance) of 30% of the family’s gross income.

Habitat not only selects a family and builds a house in partnership with them, but also mentors the family. Mentors help each family with budgeting, monitoring sweat equity hours, and preparing for home ownership. They also give encouragement and act as resource persons. A new home may be the opportunity for partner families to change their lives economically, socially, spiritually, and educationally.

  • You will be considered for a Habitat home if your present housing is not adequate, and if you are unable to obtain adequate housing through other conventional means. Lack of adequate housing may include problems with the present structure: water, electrical or sewage service systems; heating system; or failure to meet city property maintenance standards. Also taken into consideration are the number, the ages, and the gender of children compared to the number of bedrooms in your home. (The size of home that will be built with your family also depends on these factors.)
  • The percentage of your monthly income that you currently spend on housing is considered when determining need. You will be required to openly and fully discuss your financial situation with a Habitat interviewer.
  • You must have lived in the Gallatin Valley or Park County for at least one year at the time of application.
  • Your family’s gross monthly income (before taxes and deductions) must be within the ranges, based on family size and location of Habitat’s construction, shown below.
  • See the example below as a representation from 2016 for Gallatin and Park Counties.
Family Size Gallatin County

(Monthly Income)

Park County

(Monthly Income)

1 person household 1,600-3,816 1,500-3,275
2 person household 1,800-4,300 1,700-3,675
3 person household 2,000-4,779 1,900-4,080
4 person household 2,200-5,259 2,100-4,479
5 person household 2,400-5,642 2,300-4,800
6 person household 2,600-6,025 2,500-5,121
7 person household 2,800-6,409 2,700-5,446
8 person household 3,000-6,796 2,900-5,767

Since you will actually be buying your home from Habitat, you must demonstrate your ability to pay the monthly mortgage payment. This payment will include not only the mortgage payment, but the payment for real estate taxes and insurance. There is no interest on the loan for a Habitat home.We will help you determine if this payment will jeopardize your ability to meet all your other family financial obligations and expenses. We can also help you if you need to develop a budget to determine your eligibility.Partner families must demonstrate an ability to pay

We will check your credit record and employment references to verify your credit history and current employment. Past credit problems will be considered on a case-by-case basis, as well as current payment records.

What is required of partner families accepted into the program?

  1. Once accepted into the Habitat program, partner families will begin work on the required 500 “Sweat Equity” hours. The term “Sweat Equity” refers to the physical investment in the house. Most of the hours earned will be in working at the construction site; however, other opportunities are available to earn hours, including working at the ReStore, attending mandatory workshops, helping with special events, helping with office tasks, etc. Of the 500 required “Sweat Equity” hours, family and friends may provide a portion of the hours by working on the partner family’s behalf.
  2. Partner families are responsible for saving monthly towards the $750 down payment on your house and the $750 closing costs.
  3. Partner families must attend mandatory workshops, including: the HRDC’s 9-hour “Road to Home” homeownership education course, and Financial  budgeting course. You will be given credit towards your Sweat Equity hours for attendance of these workshops.

How do I apply?

Begin by downloading our Application checklistHOUSING APPLICATION, and SSN RELEASE AUTHORAZATION,  you can fill out the form and hit print and sign.

Do I Qualify with my Income?  Please download the Family Selection Criteria Brochure 2016 (PDF file) to determine if your income level meets are guidelines.

Please send the completed pre-inquiry to:

Selection Committee
Habitat for Humanity of Gallatin Valley
230 Arden Dr.
Belgrade, MT 59714

Fax: (406) 388-8226