Homeownership

Program Guidelines

Program Guidelines

Wichita Habitat for Humanity provides qualifying households the opportunity to purchase a home through an affordable mortgage in Sedgwick County.

When you submit an application, we will confirm your household meets our basic program guidelines. The main areas we review are income, credit, U.S. legal residency, and if you are a first-time homebuyer. The information below will provide you with an overview of our process and a detailed picture of what we look for in homeownership applicants.


Income

Habitat for Humanity's affordable homeownership program in Wichita is for household's earnings between 35-80% of the area median income.

Income Documentation
You will need to submit proof of income, so we may calculate your annual household income. Please refer to the application checklist to see what documents are required for each specific income type.

Income Limits
Since there are a number of factors such as property taxes, mortgage payments, and insurance, the income limits may be different for each Habitat home. This means you may qualify for the Habitat program, but not for a particular home.

For example, a home may be made available for families earning 60-80% of the area median income, so households outside of that range would not qualify for that home.

The chart below shows the current minimum and maximum gross annual income separated by household size for Sedgwick County. These numbers typically change every year and are set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development based on the cost of living.


2024 HUD Annual Gross Household Income Limits

Household SizeMinimum Income (35% AMI)Maximum Income (80% AMI)
1-person Household$22,435$51,280
2-person Household$25,620$58,560
3-person Household$28,840$65,920
4-person Household$32,025$73,200
5-person Household$34,615$79,120
6-person Household$37,170$84,960
7-person Household$39,725$90,800
8-person Household$42,280$96,640

Credit

We review the credit of the applicant and co-applicant (titleholders) to make sure you have a history of making payments on time and keeping up with obligations. This shows us you are likely ready for the responsibility of homeownership. We do not have a minimum credit score; however, we are looking to make sure there are no major issues in your report. Our credit review is very detailed, but some basic items to note are:

  1. 1.
    A credit report will be submitted for processing during the application process. The $35 application fee will be used to pay for the cost of running this report.
  2. 2.
    No bankruptcies or foreclosures in the last two years. We are looking at the date of discharge for the bankruptcy.
  3. 3.
    No more than 25% of open accounts on your credit report can be in collections. Judgments, or liens - no matter how small - must be cleared before you can move forward.
  4. 4.
    We do not allow more than two late payments in total in the previous 12 months.
  5. 5.
    Habitat's program has a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43% and assumes your monthly housing costs to be 30% (the maximum allowed by the program), leaving just 13% of your income that can be used toward monthly debt (student loans, credit cards, auto loans, etc.).

Proof of U.S. Legal Residency

All applicant(s) whose name will be on the title must show proof of legal U.S. residency and at least one applicant must show proof of permanent legal U.S. residency. Please refer to the application checklist to see which documents are acceptable.


First-time Homebuyer

To qualify for our homeownership program, you must be a first-time homebuyer using HUD's definition. Generally, a first-time homebuyer is someone who meets any of the following requirements:

  1. ·
    An individual who has had no ownership in a residence during the three-year (3) period ending on the date of purchase of the property. This includes a spouse (if either meets the above test, they are considered first-time homebuyers).
  2. ·
    A single parent who has only owned with a former spouse while married.
  3. ·
    An individual who is a displaced homemaker and has only owned with a spouse.
  4. ·
    An individual who has only owned a residence not permanently affixed to a permanent foundation in accordance with applicable regulations.
  5. ·
    An individual who has only owned a property that was not in compliance with state, local, or model building codes, and which cannot be brought into compliance for less than the cost of constructing a permanent structure.

Household

Applicants and household members must live together for at least six (6) months prior to applying for this program. All household members must be living together in their current home 10-12 months out of the year. Exceptions to this can be made on a case-by-case basis.


Information Session Attendance

Part of Wichita Habitat's homeownership program requires applicants to attend a homebuyer information session: a free, hour-long information seminar that covers program guidelines, expectations, timelines, and allows you to ask questions. This is mandatory if you wish you apply for homeownership.

Click the link below to see upcoming information sessions.


Attend a Session

Selection

Once households have been approved through the application process, they become "Family Partners." "Family Partner" households are who we reach out to once properties become available.

We select Habitat homeowners based on meeting all program guidelines and the following criteria: (1) the need for adequate housing, (2) the ability to pay, and (3) the willingness to partner.

Need for Adequate Housing
We consider the stability of your current housing situation. Is your housing transitional, below market rate, unstable or unsafe? Is your current situation overcrowded? Does your current housing situation result in a cost burden (a very high percentage of your income going towards rent)?

Ability to Pay
Your income is between 35-80% of the median income in Sedgwick County and through the review of your credit report and proof of income, you demonstrate the ability to pay the monthly mortgage payment and any financial obligations.

Willingness to Partner
The Habitat homeownership program is a hand up, not a handout. You will be purchasing a home and needing to meet certain requirements to achieve that. We require sweat equity and a savings plan.

  1. ·
    Sweat Equity: Family partners contribute 250-400 hours of sweat equity into the construction of their homes. Most of this work is done on the construction site of the home they will be building, other family partner homes, or assisting at the ReStore Wichita, with reasonable accommodation made for health and disability reasons.
  2. ·
    Savings Plan & Financial Education Classes: In addition, attending homebuyer education classes and creating a savings plan with a minimum of $2,000 to pay part of the closing costs (including property taxes and homeowner's insurance) is a key element to becoming a homeowner.
  3. ·
    Open Communication: Family partners must be willing to communicate and partner with Wichita Habitat for Humanity.

Ready to Apply?


Read Program Guidelines


These guidelines outline the basic criteria needed to qualify for our program.

Application Window Not Open

While applications to become a homeowner won't be accepted until May 1st-31st, attending an informational session can help you prepare for homeownership!

Applications Coming Soon

ApplicationS NOW AVAILABLE!

Homeownership applications are now available and will be accepted between May 1st-31st, 2024. Please download the application in either English or Spanish and complete it accurately and thoroughly.

Follow the instructions on the application and once you are ready to submit it, please schedule an appointment with Homeowner Services by calling (316) 269-0755 or emailing Katharine Franco, homeowner services manager, at [email protected].


Download English Application
Download Spanish Application

Contact Us


Our dedicated staff has the answers you need – we will be glad to answer any questions you have about the application process or the responsibilities of being a Habitat homeowner.

Katharine Franco's headshot.

Katharine Franco

Homeowner Services Manager

[email protected]


(316) 269-0755, ext. 103

Susan Winston's headshot.

Susan Winston

Budget Success Coach

[email protected]


(316) 269-0755, ext. 115

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