“Once you become a homeowner, it gives you a sense of pride in yourself. I finally feel like I’ve gained something in my life. It’s a step upward and away from the situation I kept falling in.”
– Chauncey Banks, Belmont Cottages Homeowner
About the Program
Thank you for your interest in the Habitat Homeownership Program. We believe everyone should have a safe, decent and affordable place to call home. Over the past 28 years, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville has partnered with more than 220 hard-working low-income families across Charlottesville, Albemarle, Greene, and Louisa to achieve stability, self-sufficiency and strength through homeownership. We strive to build 20 homes annually, either through a rehabilitation of an existing home or a newly constructed home. If you or someone you know face barriers to opportunity due to inadequate housing, we invite you to learn more about our homeownership program.
Our Habitat affiliate serves families who live and/or work in Charlottesville, Albemarle, Greene, and Louisa.
Habitat does not give away houses, but instead offers homebuyers the opportunity to earn “sweat equity” building their homes and those of neighbors. Utilizing volunteer labor and donations, Habitat is able to sell homes at no profit while affordable monthly mortgage payments. In addition to an affordable mortgage, we provide housing counseling and homebuyer education classes to help families build savings and improve their financial health in preparation for homeownership.
The Homeownership program is a long-term commitment and partnership between Habitat for Humanity and future homeowners. The application process takes an average of 5 months and the typical timeframe between approval for homeownership and purchase of a home is between 18 to 24 months.
Becoming a Habitat Homeowner
As active partners in the journey to homeownership, eligible Habitat homebuyers are:
1. In need of better housing
Potential homebuyers may be experiencing problems with their current neighborhood such as crime or environmental hazards or live in poorly built, unhealthy, damaged or inadequate housing. Alternatively, they may be experiencing homelessness or housing instability, pay rent that is unaffordable (more than 30% of total monthly income) or live in overcrowded conditions.
2. Willing to partner with Habitat
Habitat homebuyers put in hundreds of hours of “sweat equity” building their own homes or those of their neighbors. Individuals with disabilities or otherwise unable to work at job sites are offered other volunteer opportunities to fulfill these requirements. Sweat equity hours may also include meetings or classes in personal finances, home maintenance, community conversations and other activities that help ensure long-term stability and success.
3. Able to pay an affordable mortgage
Habitat offers homebuyers an affordable monthly mortgage payment. We partner with individuals and families throughout the homebuyer journey to improve their overall financial health and develop appropriate repayment plans to pay off existing debts. Habitat does not require good credit at the time of application.