403-B Chestnut St,
Oneonta, NY 13820
(607) 432-7874
habitatotsego@gmail.com

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Read the information below, and if you feel you qualify, and are willing to work with us,
call our office at 607-432-7874 and leave your NAME (spell it out for the answering machine)
and PHONE NUMBER, and a Family Selection Committee person will get back to you in a few days.

FAMILY SELECTION CRITERIA
Habitat for Humanity of Otsego County is an ecumenical grassroots Christian Ministry with the goal of eliminating poverty housing.
Habitat volunteers and family partners are not screened by race, ethnic origin, religion, marital or family status.

Habitat Partner Families are chosen on the basis of need, ability to pay and their willingness to actively engage in partnerships.
I. ACTUAL NEED
Since we cannot help everyone, we are looking to help those who need it the most. This means families who are living in conditions which are considered unsafe, crowded or otherwise unlivable; and families who cannot afford a regular bank mortgage.

A. Living in substandard housing

1. Structurally substandard
The home the family is living in would not pass Federal Section 8 standards - inadequate wiring, plumbing, heat insulation, energy efficiency, unsafe conditions or is functionally inadequate.

2. Inadequate space
Living area or bedrooms are insufficient for the family. Sufficiency of bedrooms is determined by the number of persons in the household, ages and sex of the household members.

3. Unable to secure conventional financing of a mortgage.
Bank criteria state that the mortgage may not exceed 26% of gross monthly income and the applicants total income. Down payments range from 5% to 20%. Home buyers must also have sufficient cash to pay closing costs.

This is not a gift. The families we choose are called "Partner Families" because they will have an active role in acquiring their own house:
They pay a mortgage (although much less than a standard bank mortgage), and minimal closing costs,
plus donate hours of labor (physical work on the house or other work on committees) toward the construction of their own or other partner families homes.

The cost of a Habitat House in Otsego County averages about $85,000 to $90,000 which translates (with escrow for taxes and insurance) to monthly payments of about $575 to $650 for about 30 years. While partner families pay for land and materials, most of the labor is donated by our volunteers, so our home costs are minimal.
As each partner family makes its mortgage payments to Habitat, we buy land, supplies and materials to build more homes.
No interest is charged on these mortgage loans.
We must choose families who can afford these payments, or the family will lose the house for inability to pay and we don't want to see this happen.
II. ABILITY TO PAY

A. Income must be at least 4 times the expected housing costs (mortgage, insurance, taxes)
Income may not exceed 6 times expected housing costs.
The family must be able to pay a minimum of 1% of the value of the house as a down payment.
Total indebtedness may not exceed 38% of gross monthly income.

B. Target Income. - Family income should fall between 35% and 65% of the median income for Otsego County.

Qualifying Income Range- HFH Otsego County, New York State  
(based on HUD FY2013 Income Limits in Otsego County, NY)
From # Persons in Family 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Calculated(35%) Minimum Income $14,820 $16,920 $19,020 $21,120 $22,810 $24,500 $26,190 $27,890
Calculated(65%) Maximum Income $27,520 $31,420 $35,320 $39,220 $42,360 $45,500 $48,640 $51,790
C. Credit history will be considered but will not be the deciding factor.

D. Employment history: family must show evidence of employment or stable income source.

Each partner family will work on their own house and houses for other families, thereby giving to others the help they've gotten themselves.
III. WILLINGNESS TO PARTNER WITH HABITAT

A. Families must agree to assist in the construction of their (and others') house. Required participation for two adults in household is 500 hours. "Sweat Equity" policy addresses single adult household heads and those with physical impairments. A proportionate number of hours will be required of families whose homes are rehabilitated.

B.Families are encouraged to contribute to the work of Habitat. This may include money, labor, participation on committees, special events, etc.

To apply - Email, write, or call Peggy at the office (432-7874) and she will give your information to a Family Selection Committee member who will call and speak with you about the process.

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