When you build a home with Habitat, we provide the knowledge, experience and labor to help make the process not only doable, but enjoyable and affordable. We know homeownership can be tough, but we're here to make sure you are equipped and empowered for success.

We partner with hard-working individuals and families like you who meet our qualifications, with no discrimination in selection. We want to invest in families who are willing to invest in their communities. Is that you?


Program Structure

We take a community approach to everything we do, because we believe that it yields the most, and best, results. That includes homeownership. 


If you are selected to become a Habitat Homeowner, you will work in cohorts throughout the process. These small groups include your future neighbors, and provide peer support as you journey through similar experiences.


Additionally, you will have the ability to participate in:

  • Homeowner Education. This series of up to 12 course themes is designed to fully prepare you for homeownership. Participants that are accepted into the program will attend classes once a month as a cohort.


  • Valuable Volunteer Hours. All Habitat Homeowners perform at least 250 volunteer hours, which can be completed on a build site, in our office, or at the ReStore. These hours help build not just your hard skills in construction and home maintenance, but they build your future community as well. When you help build your neighbor's homes, they return the favor.



It can take twelve to eighteen months to complete the Affordable Homeownership Program, from application to closing. While it may seem like a significant period of time, it is a timeline designed for fitting in the education and volunteer hours, as well as building your home. 



Habitat Chicago builds new, affordable, energy-efficient single-family homes. Built with quality materials, they will serve your family for many years to come. Learn more about the features here.



At the end of the Affordable Homeownership Program, when the house is complete and volunteer and education hours are finished, you will then purchase your home with an affordable mortgage. Your total monthly mortgage payment, homeowner insurance and property taxes combined will not exceed 30% of your household gross monthly income.



To be eligible for homeownership with Habitat Chicago, you must meet three criteria:

ONE: You have a need for affordable housing because your current housing is:

  • Unsafe, OR

  • Overcrowded, OR

  • Too much of your household income (over 30%) goes toward rent.


TWO: You are willing to partner in our program by:

  • Completing 250-350 volunteer hours, AND

  • Attending free homeowner education classes, AND

  • Maintaining open and honest communication with the Habitat Chicago team.


THREE: You have the ability to buy your home with an affordable mortgage because you have:

  • A steady income that is 40-80% of Chicago area median income, AND

  • A Credit Score of 620 or higher; Credit Scores between 600-620 or invisible/no credit may be acceptable with alternate credit documentation, AND

  • A minimum of $2,000 in savings with the ability to save an additional $1,500 prior to closing on your home. We will work with you to set up a savings plan and timeline that makes this possible for you.


You may not be eligible if you:

  • Are a current homeowner.

  • Have any recent judgements.

  • Have been in bankruptcy or foreclosure in the past three years.

  • Are a registered sex offender.


Next Steps

Learn about our home features and from past program participants and when you are ready to begin, visit the Apply page to get started.




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