Habitat’s affordable, no-profit house payments free up money for food, child care, medicine and other necessities. And research has shown that decent housing improves health, increases children’s educational achievement, and strengthens community ties.
Habitat for Humanity of the Lehigh Valley’s mission is to help families in need. Not with a hand out, but with a hand up. To begin with, many families in the Lehigh Valley pay very high rents for substandard housing. Additionally, many hold jobs that do not pay enough to allow them to purchase a home in Lehigh or Northampton County. This is regardless of the municipality. However, we give a family that meets its selection requirements the chance to own a home.
The typical Habitat Lehigh Valley family earns between 35% – 80% of the median income for the Lehigh Valley. In addition, many people who currently reside in shelters would qualify for participation in our Home Ownership program.
Owning a Home
We do not give away homes or provide emergency housing. Instead, we work in partnership with families to help them secure a better place to live and raise their families. We do this through our Habitat Home Ownership program.
Families who wish to participate in the Habitat Home Ownership program must meet selection criteria. This criteria is established by Habitat for Humanity International. The criteria are:
- Income-Families must meet specific income guidelines, be able to make low monthly mortgage payments, and have an acceptable credit record.
- Partner-Families must be willing to partner with Habitat Lehigh Valley by contributing at least 250 hours of sweat equity. This goes towards the construction of their home and other Habitat Lehigh Valley houses.
- Commitment-Families must agree to attend home ownership and budgeting classes.
- Need-Families must demonstrate the inadequacy of their current living situation. For example: poor structure, overcrowding, high rent, high crime area, etc. In addition, they must demonstrate a need for decent, affordable housing.
- Community-Families must reside in the Lehigh Valley for at least the previous 12 months. Likewise, they must be dedicated to the community.