Homeownership Program

Habitat is founded on the conviction that every person should have a simple, decent, affordable, home in which to live in dignity and safety. With decent housing, families thrive as they are freed from the worry and stress of unaffordable and unacceptable living conditions.

Applying for a Home

Habitat for Humanity Tri-County Partners builds homes for low-income families, whose present housing is inadequate. Applicants must be legal residents of the U.S., and have lived in the community of application for at least one year. Applicants need to have the resources to pay a low monthly mortgage. See the charts on the right to see if you meet the required income.

Program Criteria

The following three criteria must be met to apply for a Habitat home:

  1. Need for Adequate Shelter: Applicants must demonstrate a need for better housing , i.e., living in unsafe, unhealthy, or crowded conditions.
  2. Ability to Pay: Applicants must have the resources to pay a low, monthly mortgage. Each homeowner’s monthly mortgage payment goes into a revolving fund that is used to build more Habitat homes for other hard-working families.
  3. Willingness to Partner: Applicants must be willing to commit to the “sweat equity” requirement of 500 hours on the construction of their home or other qualified projects.

Additional Information

Please read all the information below before filling out the application. If you have questions, feel free to call us at (509) 943-5555 to speak with our Family Services Coordinator. You may also send an email to homeownership@habitat-tcp.org.
The income level that qualifies you for a Habitat home is between 30% and 60% of the current median income level in your area. Click here for specific details on Habitat homeownership in the Tri-Cities. Your total family income is what we use to determine your eligibility. This should be a steady source of income, so that you will be able to afford monthly mortgage payments on a house. Your credit history will be investigated.
You and your family must be willing to put in 500 hours of unpaid volunteer work for various projects. This is known as sweat equity and is required of all Habitat families. Once you are accepted as a Habitat family, you may be helping to build houses other than your own. If you have physical limitations that would keep you from swinging a hammer or performing other manual labor, you can help with office work, volunteer coordination and newsletter mailings. Your willing participation in these projects not only helps with the work of Habitat for Humanity, but also shows your sincerity and commitment to the partnership.
Your current housing must be inadequate based on the size and/or condition of the home or some other factor. For example, you may be experiencing unsafe or unhealthy conditions, overcrowding, pest infestations, or paying too much for rent.
Are you prepared to wait as long as two years for your home to be built? Habitat for Humanity is not an emergency housing program, or a quick fix to your current housing situation. Our goal is to build communities as well as homes, and this process takes time. We are trying to provide a permanent solution.
You must be willing to accept a home in your service area. Habitat families that live in the Tri-Cities will be offered homes in Benton or Franklin counties. Walla Walla families will be offered homes in that county. Habitat for Humanity Tri-Cities cannot guarantee that the home you are offered will be located or built in any given part of Kennewick, Pasco, Richland or Walla Walla.
You must be willing to accept the home that is assigned to your family. This decision is made based upon the size and needs of your family. Habitat for Humanity homes are basic, decent homes and do not have formal dining rooms, wood stoves, fireplaces, or decks. In most cases, there will be only one bathroom.
Once accepted as a candidate family, you must begin saving money each month to pay the closing costs on your Habitat home mortgage. This money must be paid before you can move into your home. The average closing cost for one of our homes is $4,000. Since you will have up to two years to save, a small amount saved each month will get you to this goal. You must also agree to make regular monthly house payments. It is important that these payments are made on time because your mortgage payments go toward building the home for the next family on the list.
Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity relies upon the goodwill of our community to build and repair homes for qualified families. Donations and volunteer labor by individuals and groups are our primary sources of support. For public relations purposes, you and your family may be asked to pose for photos or be interviewed by news or television reporters. More importantly, as a Habitat family, you must be willing to keep up your Habitat home in a manner that speaks well of the organization. This means that you are expected to keep your home and lot in good order and not engage in any activities that are disruptive to the community or are in any way illegal.
As part of Habitat’s homeownership program, we provide a 10-week series of classes for newly approved applicants. The class covers various aspects of homeownership and financial responsibility. These classes are required, and completed by all applicants before the Dedication of their new home. At the end of the 10 weeks, each graduating applicant is awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Class topics include:

Working with Habitat to become a successful homeowner
House insurance
Closing on a house
Home maintenance
How to work with city and neighborhood services (i.e. police and fire departments)
Financial responsibility (i.e. saving, debt reduction, budgeting)
Community Services and Resources

The New Homeowner Class series is offered twice a year. While the class is required for future homeowners, the latter part of the series is also open to current Habitat homeowners who would like to review some of the fundamentals of financial responsibility, or learn more about community services and resources.

Tri-Cities Income Guidelines
 Family Size Min Income Max Income

1 Person

2 Persons

 $14,050

$16,050

 $28,080

$32,100

3 Persons

4 Persons

 $20,160

$24,300

 $36,120

$40,080

5 Persons

6 Persons

 $28,440

$32,580

 $43,320

$46,500

7 Persons

8 Persons

 $36,730

$40,890

 $49,740

$52,920

Walla Walla Income Guidelines
Min Income Max Income
1 Person

2 Persons

$12,750

$16,020

$25,500

$29,160

3 Persons

4 Persons

$20,160

$24,300

$32,820

$36,420

5 Persons

6 Persons

$28,440

$32,580

$39,360

$42,300

7 Persons

8 Persons

$36,730

$40,100

$45,180

$48,120