Habitat Chicago recently welcomed seven women-led households into our Affordable Homeownership Program, and we will have their stories for you soon! In the meantime, here's a bit about the great undertaking these homebuyers will embark on to become Habitat homeowners and a video from our most recent home dedication ceremony:
Habitat partners with Chicagoans who do not qualify for typical loans to become first-time homeowners. Qualifying households meet three basic criteria:
1) Demonstrate a need for affordable housing (currently living in unsafe or overcrowded conditions or are severely rent-burdened).
2) Are willing to partner in our program by completing a minimum of 200 volunteer hours, attending our free homeowner education classes, AND maintaining open and honest communication with the Habitat Chicago team.
3) Have the ability to purchase their home with an affordable mortgage.
Households enter the program as a cohort, designed to provide built-in support for navigating the process of homeownership as a first-time buyer. It takes about 12-18 months for cohorts to complete the program. At the end of it all, homebuyers become neighbors in one of our focus neighborhoods, living in healthy and sustainable homes built by themselves, volunteers (like our Women Builders!), and Habitat Chicago construction staff.