To qualify for a Habitat home, applicants need to have lived or worked in Orange County for the past year and demonstrate stable income for the past two years. In addition, they need to earn 30 to 60% of the area median income and demonstrate good credit. Applicants must have overcrowded, cost-burdened, subsidized, or substandard housing to qualify for a Habitat home. To qualify, applicants must be U.S. citizens or have permanent legal immigration status. Prospective homeowners must put in 275 hours of “sweat equity” labor building their homes and the homes of their neighbors. When their home is complete, they pay closing costs and repay an affordable mortgage, usually over 30 years.
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County is not currently accepting applications for home ownership.
Habitat for Humanity of Orange County’s Home Preservation serves low-income homeowners who struggle to maintain the interior and exterior of their homes. The program is designed to help preserve affordable homeownership and assist homeowners to live in healthy, safe and accessible homes. Types of repairs include: Critical repairs (roof, HVAC, plumbing), accessibility modifications (wheelchair ramps, grab bars, and handrails), interior and exterior work (porch or deck, painting, patching, minor repairs).
Michelle’s job as a Bridal Consultant at Bed Bath & Beyond has been more fun since she was approved for her Habitat home in the Crescent Magnolia neighborhood, as she is now able to take some of her own advice.
“I love helping couples have fun and decide what they should put on their registry and how to set up a home,” said Michelle. “I’ve been getting better at space-saving ideas, as I am preparing to downsize myself.”
Michelle currently lives in a second-floor apartment unit that has been undergoing costly updates, which is causing her rent to increase unexpectedly and at an unaffordable rate. Not only is she excited to move into her own single-story affordable home, but she’s also excited to be part of a senior community from the ground up.
“Senior housing is a challenge, with many places in the area having 5-10 year long waiting lists. With Habitat, I’ve already met so many of my future neighbors. I know we’ll be a community who will not only do things together around Hillsborough, but check on each other which is really special.”
Since 2008, Habitat has built green-certified homes. Habitat incorporates green building into site design and development, resource efficiency, energy efficiency, water efficiency, and homeowner education.
Each new home built by Habitat is evaluated by a third-party inspector, Southern Energy Management, to ensure it meets Advanced Energy's SystemVision program standards and Home Innovation Research Labs criteria so that each home can earn a Home Innovation NGBS Green Certification.
Habitat is currently building senior (55+) housing in Hillsborough which will wrap up in mid to late 2020.
Habitat is currently working with Orange High School students through the Construction Trades program to build a home over the course of the school year.