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How to Apply: Homeownership Program

HFHMM is pleased to announce multiple upcoming homeownership opportunities in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, Maryland. These properties will be rehabilitated homes. If you or someone you know would be interested in purchasing a home with HFHMM, please contact us– use the dropdown “Family Services”. Please do not provide any personal information other than your name and contact telephone.


If you are interested in learning more about Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland’s homeownership program including application and selection process, please carefully review the following information.

The short version:

  • APPLICANTS should attend a homeownership information session
  • HFHMM will notify you if and when you are matched to an appropriate project
  • APPLICANTS will complete a full application within two weeks of information session
  • HFHMM will review your application
  • APPLICANTS will be notified of a selection decision

The extended version:

1. Attend a Homeownership Information Session

To start the process, interested homebuyers should attend a HFHMM Homeownership Information Session.  Registration is strongly encouraged. Due to limited seating walk-ins may not be allowed. Only one adult per household need attend this session.

During the session, attendees will learn about the Habitat homeownership model, requirements for purchasing a home, the selection process, selection criteria, etc. 

PLEASE NOTE:  Attendance at an information session does not guarantee notification of projects, nor selection as a Habitat homebuyer.  HFHMM will keep applicant information on file for up to SIX months. However, HFHMM does not maintain a waiting list.

2. Notification of Project / Request to Submit Application

Upon receipt of a completed Application, HFHMM will try to match interested families with an upcoming project. HFHMM will not always have projects to match with interested applicants.

3. Application Submission – two weeks

Once notified of a project you will have the option of submitting a full application to purchase one of the project homes.  Subsequently, a complete application must be received within two weeks.  Missing information will not be allowed; incomplete applications will be denied!

4. Application Review

HFHMM will carefully review the application to determine whether a family fulfills the required criteria.  If the application fulfills the criteria, a home visit will occur.  For more information please visit our Family Selection Criteria page of our website.

The home visit has three goals:

  • To determine housing need
  • To discuss the mortgage and loan package as well as home specifications
  • To answer questions

A final decision regarding approval or denial for purchase is not determined during the home visit.  HFHMM will complete an application evaluation after the home visit in preparation for final review.

5. Notification of Selection Decision

The Family Selection Committee meets monthly to review potential homebuyer information.  Final approval must be given by HFHMM’s Board of Directors on whether or not a family can purchase a home from HFHMM.

Inevitably, there will be more qualified homebuyers than homes available so not all qualified families will be able to purchase.  Please do not let a denial from HFHMM end your search to purchase a simple, decent, affordable home in Montgomery and / or Prince George’s County Maryland.

For more information please contact our Family Services Coordinator at Family.Services@HabitatMM.org or 301-990-0014 x21.

Detailed Family Selection Criteria

Residency Requirements

The applicant and co-applicant must be residents of Montgomery County or Prince George’s County, at the time of application and for at least the 12 months immediately preceding application.

Further, the applicant or co-applicant may reside outside Montgomery County or Prince George’s County, but must be employed in either when applying and show proof of such employment for the 12 months immediately preceding application. * (Does not imply candidate must be employed; this applies only if the candidate does not reside in Montgomery County.)

*An exception to these residency requirements may be made in the event no otherwise qualified candidates meet the residency requirements are identified.

All occupants listed must be living with the applicant at the time of application.*

*An exception to this requirement may be made if special circumstances exist and are presented to the Family Selection Committee.

The applicant and co-applicant must be lawful, permanent residents of the United States or US Citizens.

Proof of lawful, permanent residency status or US Citizenship is required for each applicant and co-applicant.

The following is a partial list of documents that may be presented to establish the lawful permanent resident status or United States
citizenship of each applicant and co-applicant.

  • Permanent Resident Card (Form I- 551)
  • United States passport
  • Certificate of United States Citizenship
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Original or certified copy of a birth certificate evidencing birth in the United States
    or outlying territory of the United States

Housing Need

The applicant and co-applicant must be living in substandard housing at the time of application.

Substandard housing is unsafe or inadequate due to any combination of the following:

  • Structural or mechanical problems, such as faulty or deteriorating foundation, structural, or roof systems
  • Deteriorating interior walls or exterior cladding, poor thermal or moisture protection, broken or inoperable doors or windows
  • Broken or unsafe interior or exterior stairs and walkways
  • Inoperable or dangerous HVAC, plumbing, or electrical systems; broken or inoperable bathroom fixtures or kitchen appliances
  • Insufficient space or room configuration to accommodate the number of occupants in the residence at the time of application or who will
    be living in the residence in the “near” future
  • Unhealthy interior or exterior environment due to rodent or insect infestation; exposed asbestos, lead, or other hazardous materials;
    or the presence of hazardous chemicals or gases (such as radon)
  • Unsafe neighborhood due to high violent crime rate, high non-violent crime rate
    (including illegal drug activity), or other commonly accepted measures of unsafe neighborhoods
  • Unsafe neighborhood due to man-made or geo-climatic conditions such as flooding or earth movement
  • Homelessness
  • Cost burden: Applicant(s) are paying more than 30% of their monthly gross income towards housing including rent payments and utilities

Willingness to Partner

All Habitat applicants and co-applicants must agree to fulfill a “sweat equity” requirement that is based on the following requirements:
(Sweat Equity hours must be completed prior to settlement on the Habitat house.)

  • 1st adult in household= 200 hours
  • Each additional adult occupant (anyone 18 years or older) = 100 hours
  • Each young adult (16-17 years old) = 50 hours
  • The maximum “sweat equity” requirement is 500 hours per family
  • Adults in the partner families must complete at least 50% of the households sweat equity hours on the construction site
  • Relatives, friends, and children under 16 may contribute sweat equity hours but no more than 50% of the family’s total sweat equity requirement

The family’s sweat equity requirement may be met in the following ways:

  • Contributing to the construction of their house or that of another Habitat family. (16 and older)
  • Working at the Habitat ReStore (14 and older)
  • Doing volunteer work for Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland such as office work, staffing a booth at a fundraising event,
    working on the newsletter, etc.
  • Participating on a Habitat committee such as Publicity, Fundraising, etc.
  • Attending Habitat Homeowner workshops on Finance and Budgeting, Homeowner Maintenance
    and Repair, Community Living
  • Children, first through twelfth grades, can earn sweat equity hours for grades during
    each grade-reporting period. An “A” earns 5 hours, a “B” earns 4 hours, and a “C” earns 3 hours

As stated above, hours earned cannot exceed 50 hours per child and the total number of hours earned by all of the family’s children cannot exceed 50% of the family’s total requirement. A Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland Board member, staff member, or committee member must verify all sweat equity hours earned.

If approved for a Habitat home, all applicants must be willing to attend and join in programs to learn about finance and budgeting, home repair and maintenance, and become a part of a Homeowners Association

All 18 or older occupants of the future Habitat home must willingly agree to undergo a criminal background check. All occupants of the future Habitat home must have no record of sexual offense charges.

All occupants must have a record clear of any drug-related charges within the last 5 years.

Ability to Pay

  • The applicant and co-applicant must present information such as the following:
  • Financial and personal information, employment references, federal and state income tax returns (must include front and back of documents), W2 statements, and proof of employment or other income
  • Monthly household expenses including: rent, utilities, child care, cell phones, car payments, car insurance, credit cards, school lunch, student loans, other loans, alimony and/or child support
  • A credit report clear of any bankruptcies or foreclosures within the last 3 years
  • Expectation that employment or other sources of income (such as disability or social security payments) used to qualify for Habitat’s minimum income requirement will remain constant.  Exceptions may be possible with a reasonable explanation

(This information will help determine if the family has the resources to make the proposed monthly Habitat house payment, maintain current level of reasonable living expenses and stay current on existing debt obligations.)

Income Requirements

Habitat homebuyers must have an annual household income between 30% to 50%, and in some cases up to 60%, of the Area Median Income (AMI) as determined by HUD.  Each project may have different minimum and maximum income requirements as a result of the home sales price.

Equal Housing Statement


Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland is pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, sex, marital status, physical or mental disability, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, presence of children, source of income, sexual orientation, gender identity, age and family responsibilities.



For more information please contact our Family Services Coordinator at Family.Services@HabitatMM.org or 301-990-0014 x21.