Requirements for
Habitat Homebuyers

Be a first-time homebuyer as established by HUD (US Department of Housing and Urban Development)

Provide 1% cash down payment

Have sufficient credit history, with no accounts in collection, no charge-offs, no unsatisfied public records, and no bankruptcies within the last three years.

Fulfill the “sweat equity” component of the program (see below in the FAQ section)

In general, an applicant must earn 50%-80% of area median income (AMI) as established by HUD. Always check the specific income guidelines on the project application as these may be different.

Establish a monthly savings account

Participate in financial/homeownership education

Show a stable employment history

In accordance with New York City mandates, Habitat NYC and Westchester selects applicants for our Home Purchase Program through the New York City Housing Lottery.


When applications are available, apply through the New York City Housing Lottery.

Applications are selected randomly through a lottery. Depending on the volume of applications received, it may not be possible for all applications to be processed.


If your application is selected for further processing, additional information will be requested at that time.

Selected and approved applicants will complete a partnership agreement and begin earning their sweat equity hours.



There are no open applications available at this time.

If you’d like to be notified when additional applications become available, fill out the inquiry form below. Please note that this is an expression of interest, not a waitlist.

    In which areas are you most interested in learning about housing opportunities?

    In which types of housing developments are you most interested?

    We provide our homebuyers with the tools they will need to become successful homeowners. Even once their home purchase is complete, Habitat NYC and Westchester is there for our homeowners, helping them with legal issues, training co-op boards, creating support and assistance around foreclosure prevention and more.

    But we don’t help just our homebuyers. Prospective homebuyers have the chance to improve their financial standing by working with our financial literacy partners, eventually helping them to become homeowners.

    For more information about services for existing HDFCs and other co-ops, please see our Housing Preservation page. 



    What makes Habitat NYC and Westchester homes affordable for low-income families?

    •  Community, faith, and corporate sponsorships
    •  Individual donations
    •  Volunteer labor
    •  Government grants
    •  “Sweat equity” hours contributed by future homebuyers
    •  An affordable mortgage product

    How can I obtain a homeownership application?

    We do not always have housing available. When housing becomes available, applications will be posted on the Application tab.

    Are there income requirements?

    In general, an applicant must earn 50%-80% of the Area Median Income. Area Median Income guidelines are set by HUD and based on household size (the number of people you plan to have living with you). Guidelines are subject to change; Always check the specific income guidelines on the project application as these may be different.

    What will be my cost for housing?

    The term of your SONYMA mortgage product will be 30 years, with a 2% fixed interest rate. Your total monthly mortgage payment, any initial maintenance costs, homeowners insurance and property taxes combined will not exceed 33% of your household’s gross monthly income.

    What is “sweat equity”?

    “Sweat equity” is integral to Habitat for Humanity’s mission to build decent affordable housing. Each homebuyer is required to complete 200 Sweat Equity Credit Hours (total per household, not per person) before they move into their Habitat home. The completion of Sweat Equity begins after selection into the Habitat Homebuyer program and consists of various educational courses and hands-on activities.

    How are homebuyers selected?

    In accordance with New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development mandates, Habitat NYC and Westchester selects candidates to become homebuyers through the New York City Housing Lottery.

    Does my credit have to be perfect?

    No; however, applications do require a hard pull of your credit report. Credit history and monthly debt obligations of the applicant (not the whole household) will be reviewed. Further details about credit eligibility will be discussed at the appointment after lottery selection.

    HUD-established Income Guidelines*

    Household size – Total Gross Household Income Ranges
    1: $46,700 – $74,800
    2: $53,400 – $85,450
    3: $60,050 – $96,150
    4: $66,700 – $106,800
    5: $72,050 – $115,350
    6: $77,400 – $123,900

    *Income guidelines are set by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and are subject to change. Always check the specific income guidelines on the project application as these may be different.

    Have any questions?

    Email or call us for more information.

    111 John Street, Suite 770
    New York, NY 10038



    Habitat homeowner Chloe with her son in front of SEED development

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