Habitat Homebuyer Program

How the Habitat Homebuyer Program Works: Habitat for Humanity offers a homebuyer program to qualified low-income individuals and families in the Fox Cities. Habitat extends a 0% interest mortgage loan. Monthly mortgage payments include repayment to Habitat for the home (principal), as well as for property taxes and home insurance (escrow).

Where to Start

Habitat Homebuyer Readiness Info Sessions
Habitat will host a brief one-hour Homebuyer Readiness informational session. We will cover general information about Habitat’s housing ministry and how applicants qualify to purchase a home with Habitat. If you want to learn more about Habitat before you apply, please join us! Please feel free to contact Habitat if you have any questions.

Home Buyer Readiness Sessions were Wednesday September 9th, 2020. Missed it? Feel free to apply. Applications are available in the link below and at our office at 921 Midway Road in Menasha. Applications are located in a weather proof box, outside of the Habitat office, so feel free to take and go. Applications will be available through Wednesday September 23rd at 5pm. 

Qualified applicants will need to meet the Selection Criteria and other requirements listed below:


Applicants must be in need of housing due to any of the following situations:

  • Structurally substandard, unsafe, or unhealthy living conditions
  • Temporary housing or over-crowded living conditions
  • Housing costs (rent + utilities) exceeds 30% of gross monthly household income
  • Housing is inaccessible
  • Reside in subsidized or transitional housing (section 8, Title 42, etc)

Ability to Pay

Habitat will evaluate applicants’ household income and debt.


Applicants must be comfortable with a monthly mortgage payment from $550 to $950 (depending upon income) and must have enough income through stable employment or other forms of permanent income to afford a home and all basic living expenses.

Income includes all wages, unemployment (only if related to seasonal employment), social security, pension and/or disability. Self employment income is defined as the “Net Profit” [line 31, Schedule C (1040)]. Income can also include child support, kinship care, and other types of income which is received on a regular basis and is needed to cover monthly expenses. All income sources are included when they are expected to last for three years or longer.

2020-2021 Income Guidelines are based on family size. Your gross annual income must be at or above the minimum and at or below the maximum.

2020 Homeownership Income Guidelines

Family Size Minimum Maximum
1 $24,500 $36,300
2 $24,500 $41,520
3 $26,200 $46,680
4 $26,200 $51,840
5 $28,020 $56,040
6 $30,090 $60,180
7 $32,160 $64,320
8 $34,230 $68,460


Applicants’ credit history does not need to be perfect. Many applicants have some debt. Is it important for applicants to know how much is owed and for the total amount of debt to be manageable.

  • All collection debt must have proof of active payment plans or be paid in full
  • Judgments for money must be satisfied. [Go to CCAP – Wisconsin Circuit Court Access at:]
  • Bankruptcy or foreclosure must have been satisfied for at least six months
  • It is recommended that applicants obtain a free copy of their credit report to ensure all credit is reported accurately [Go to]

Willingness to Partner

Applicants must be willing to work in partnership with Habitat with their positive and active involvement in the Homebuyer Sweat Equity Program. Applicants must be willing to complete 300 to 500 hours of sweat equity by attending classes and workshops, working at the Habitat ReStore, participating in Habitat or ReStore events, and building on other homes as well as their own.
*Accommodations for health and employment issues will be made on a case by case basis

Additional Applicant Requirements

  • Divorce proceedings must have known finalization date
  • Applicant(s) must have entered the US legally and provide applicable documentation
  • Applicant must clear a criminal background check
  • It is important to determine who the homebuyers will be when there are multiple adults who are planning to live in the home permanently
  • Wisconsin is a marital property state and Habitat requires married couples to apply jointly
  • All adult (over 18) household members must sign a general release for a background check and other verification
  • Habitat is unable serve applicants if any household member is a registered sex offender
  • Any conviction(s) which are recent and/or severe in nature will be evaluated on a case by case basis

How to Apply

Individuals interested in home ownership through Habitat will need to complete and submit a pre-application document along with a $25 application fee (one fee per application) when pre-applications are open.

Pre-applications will be available February  (click the link to access. Pre-applications are only available during open periods) and also available in a container attached to our Little Free Library at our office at 921 Midway Road in Menasha.

Request to receive by mail or email: (920) 967-8887 or

Pre-application steps to complete:

  • Obtain the pre-application (available September 9-23, 2020)
  • Submit the pre-application in person (drop in the white drop box at the Habitat office) or by mail – pre-applications must be postmarked no later than the last day of open period)
  • Include a $25 pre-application fee (one fee per application) made payable to “Habitat” (personal check, money order, or cashier’s check only – no cash or card)
  • Check your public record for Judgments or Liens – You may have a court-ordered judgement and not even know it! Judgments or liens need to be paid before Habitat can work with you. Go to: before applying.

Applicant Guidelines

How Do I Calculate My Income?

General Release Other Household Members

*Every adult (over 18 years) must sign a general release form. All married couples must sign a joint release form.

*Pre-Applications submitted electronically or without pre-application fee will be considered incomplete.

Not ready to apply? Contact Habitat for your options.

Our Family Services staff can work with you to find where you are at in your home-ownership journey and provide appropriate resources.

For email inquiries:

Call (920) 967-8887 for details on this program.