Homeownership FAQ


If my credit score is low or if I don’t have a credit score, can I still apply?

Yes, Habitat Greater Boston conducts a comprehensive analysis of your credit report, and thus we do not have a credit score threshold to determine eligibility. We use credit reports to ensure that applicants have not had bankruptcies, foreclosures, charge-offs, or large collections within certain timeframes upon applying 

I am not a U.S. citizen. Can I still apply to the program?

Yes, to participate in Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston’s Homeownership program, participants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents. We accept the following forms of documentation as evidence: 

  • A copy of your Driver’s license 
  • U.S. Passport 
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561) 
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570) 
  • Unexpired Foreign Passport with an I-551 stamp 
  • Form I-94 verifying current status as “Refugee,” “Asylum Granted,” “Parolee,” or “Cuban-Haitian Entrant” 
  • Permanent Resident Card with photograph 
  • Alien Registration Receipt Card with photograph (Form I-151 commonly referred to as a “Green Card” or Form I-551). 
    I applied to Habitat in the past and my application was rejected. Can I apply again?

    Absolutely. We encourage you to reapply if your circumstances have changed. 

    Habitat Homes

    How long does it take from the time I apply for a home until I close and move in?

    The application/selection process can take four to eight months and after that it may take another 18 to 24 months to build the home before you will be ready to buy your home and move in. The timing also depends on how long it takes you to complete the sweat equity requirement and attend our classes. Importantly, our program relies on sponsors, donations, and volunteers to help construct our homes, which can impact the timing. Our homeownership program is not an immediate resolution to your current housing situation. 

    Can I rent out or sublet my Habitat house?

    No. Habitat requires that you live in your home. You cannot rent out the home or move out and let others live there instead. 

    Can I choose the location and design of my house? Can I switch to another Habitat home after I am selected?

    No. Applicants are provided with a rendering of the home and are informed of the location and floor plan of the home prior to applying, including the number of bedrooms. We try to sell homes to applicants who require the full number of bedrooms. 

    Can I run a day care or other business out of my home?

    No. Habitat homes are meant to be your primary residence and cannot be used for business purposes. 

    Sweat Equity

    When do I perform the sweat equity?

    You may begin the sweat equity after you have been selected as a partner family and receive final approval from our Board of Directors. The hours must be completed before you can move into your new Habitat home. 

    Can friends and other groups help me meet the 250-300 hours of sweat equity?

    No. Sweat equity must be completed by members of the family who are 18 years or older and will be living in the home. It helps families develop a sense of pride in homeownership and learn important building and home maintenance skills. However, we recognize the additional commitment from a single-parent household, which is why the required hours are reduced in such circumstances. In addition, sweat equity provides an opportunity for interaction with other partner families, Habitat staff, and volunteers. 

    Homebuyer Classes

    If I’ve already taken a first-time homebuyer class, do I still need to take Habitat’s classes?

    Yes. Habitat’s classes are required for all program participants because our classes cover a wide range of topics, some of which are specific to our program. Because these classes are only offered to future Habitat homeowners, it’s also an opportunity for you to get to know your future neighbors. 


    If I lose my job, will I lose my home?

    Not necessarily. We encourage you to communicate with us during periods of financial difficulty, and we will work with you to try and find a solution.  

    Does Habitat Greater Boston have any repair programs?

    No, Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston does not have any repair programs. Currently, the only program we offer is our homeownership program. For information about organizations that do have repair programs, please refer to our housing resource guide.

    Does Habitat Greater Boston have any rental properties?

    No, Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston does not rent out apartments. All our homes are purchased and owned by participating families.  



    Still have questions? Email us at homeownership@habitatboston.org, or call us at 617-423-2223 x17.