Qualifications for Home Ownership


  • Applicants must meet the income limits based on household size.
  • To qualify for low- or moderate-income housing, income of the applicant(s) must be at least $30,000, and total household income (from all sources) must fall below the maximum guideline for household size.
  • Applicants must be able to afford payment of utilities, taxes, insurance, maintenance expenses and the repayment of the affordable mortgage as well as other current debt the applicant may have.
  • Debt must be less than forty (40%) percent of income.
  • Applicants must have a clean credit history with credit scores of at least 600.
  • Applicants must be unable to obtain a regular bank mortgage.
  • Current rent is more than thirty (30%) percent of total household monthly income.
  • Applicants cannot have owned a home for at least 24 months or be in bankruptcy.


Current Housing is Inadequate

  • Current shelter has a problem not resolvable with the heating system, water supply, electricity, bathroom(s), kitchen structure, etc.
  • Current shelter has an inadequate number of bedrooms as determined by number, ages, and sex of household members.
  • The current neighborhood is unsuitable (unsafe or unsanitary).
  • Current shelter is temporary (living with friends, relatives).

Willingness to Partner: (Must Meet All Criteria)

Applicant must be willing to accept these responsibilities:

  • To have your story told to the press, volunteers and donors.
  • Disclosure of personal financial situation, including employment history, household income and current debt burden.
  • Completion of Habitat Application for a Home after attending an orientation meeting, including all required documents.
  • “Sweat Equity” contributions of three hundred (300) to four hundred (400) hours helping to build their home.
  • Payment of mortgage and initial down payment.
  • Payment of property taxes and insurance in addition to mortgage payments.
  • Certificates showing attendance and participation in pre-purchase and post-purchase home buyer education classes. Call the Housing Partnership in Dover, 973.659.9222, to enroll.
  • Participation in a condominium association, where applicable.
  • Willingness to grant Morris Habitat the first option to buy back the house.

Legal Status

All persons applying and using income for qualification purposes must be a US citizen or legal resident. After a household is selected, criminal background checks are conducted on all members who are age 16 and older. A previous conviction may disqualify an applicant from homeownership. In determining eligibility, Morris Habitat for Humanity will consider several factors. Documents outlining the policy will be provided upon request.


Habitat houses are affordable for low- and moderate-income families because there is no profit included in the sale price and they receive an affordable mortgage. Mortgage length is 30 years. The approximate price range of our homes will be between $100,000 and $175,000, depending on size and income level.

There is also a deed restriction on the Habitat homes. This means that controls are placed on the homes so that they will remain affordable between 30 and 99 years. Homes can only be sold at an affordable price to an income-qualified buyer.


Application forms are available online, in our office, at all active construction sites and at the mandatory Program Information Meetings which are offered at the beginning of each new project. An in-depth review of the applicants’ finances, need and willingness to partner will be conducted by the Homeowner Relations Team. The process will include income verification, a credit check, and personal visits and interviews by team members.

Due to the nature of Habitat’s program requirements, we cannot help families in emergency situations. For immediate housing assistance, call 2-1-1 or visit http://www.nj211.org/  to connect to such services through the NJ 2-1-1 Partnership.

Non-Discrimination Statement: We are 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, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.