How You Can Own A Home

Phase One

Each applicant must meet the following requirements in order to receive a pre-screen application:

  • You must be a resident of St. Louis City or St. Louis County for at least one year prior to completing a pre-screen application.
  • You must currently live in substandard housing (leaky roof, bad plumbing, overcrowding, neighborhood problems).
  • You must have a form of steady income. Unacceptable Income includes unemployment benefits, food stamps, any temporary state assistance, any temporary employment income, child support, or SSI for dependents.
  • You must be within the income guidelines listed in the chart below.
  • You, the applicant(s), must be willing and able to partner with Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis and perform 350 hours of sweat equity as well as attend ALL classes and workshops scheduled before, during, and after homeownership has been achieved.
  • Bankruptcy must have a three-five year discharge time limit with sufficient credit history after discharge (this will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis).

If you meet these guidelines, please call our office at 314-371-0400 to obtain a pre-screen application.

Phase Two

Once your pre-screen application is approved, you will be scheduled to attend a homeownership clinic. At this meeting you will obtain more detailed information about the homeownership program, future build sites, and house design, as well as expectations and requirements. Please note there are NO exceptions for missing this informational clinic. If you cannot attend, you will have to reschedule for the next session.

The application process has several areas of focus:

  • Credit history
  • Employment history
  • Landlord/Rental history
  • Criminal background check (every household member over 18 years of age)
  • Current household expenses
  • Willingness to partner
  • Ability to maintain 30+ year mortgage

If you meet all of the above qualifications and have a successful home visit, you will receive an acceptance letter of preliminary approval.

Your application and documents will be reviewed by our underwriters for approval. You will need to submit the following documents (copies) with your Official Application:

  • Copy of official birth certificates for all family members
  • Copy of social security cards for all family members (print-outs are acceptable until official card[s] are received)
  • Copy of state issued driver's license or state issued identification for family members age 18 years or older
  • Copy of court ordered child support and a 12 month print-out of payments received or made
  • Copy of check stubs from the last three (3) pay periods for all family members who are employed and are age 18 years or older
  • Award letters for any funds received for SSI, Disability, etc. for any family member
  • Copy of most recent checking and/or savings account bank statements - 2 months
  • Letter verifying current employment status (date of hire, rate of pay, pay schedule, position/title, and contact name and phone number for verification)
  • Copy W2s and tax information with all schedules (Federal and State filings).
  • 12-month history letters from AmerenUE and Laclede Gas companies
  • Verification of rent payments (cancelled checks [front and back], money orders, print-out of payment for a 12 month period)

In the event all documentation is not submitted as requested, your application will be automatically rejected and you will not be eligible to reapply for six months from the date your application was rejected.

Phase Three

Receiving preliminary approval does not guarantee you a home; there are additional steps that must be followed:

  • Sign and return preliminary approval letter
  • Complete 25 hours of sweat equity in a timely manner. These hours can be completed in the ReStore, on the construction build site, or in our administrative office
  • Accept partner community and selected address

If you have any questions, please contact the Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis office at 314.371.0400 x37.

Questions and Answers

Q. I am self employed. How would I verify my income?

A. You must use your income tax return from the past two or three years as proof.

Q. I was once a St. Louis City/County resident, but I moved to another state. I returned to live in St. Louis City/County. How long do I have to live in the St. Louis area to qualify as a resident?

A. You must reside in St. Louis City/County for at least one full year after your return to St. Louis.

Q. What type of credit rating is acceptable for your program?

A. Credit history will be rated on a case-by-case basis. Active judgments, liens, garnishments, collection accounts, etc. are not acceptable.

Q. Once I am qualified for the program and notified of my qualification, how long do I have to complete my first 25 hours?

A. Your hours must be done in a timely manner, and at anytime you can be disqualified from the program.

Q. Do I have the choice of selecting where I would like to have my house built?

A. No, but you do have the right to decline the location and start over at the Pre-Screen Phase of the application.

Income Guidelines

Family Size Min. Income Max Income
1 $15,785 $26,345
2 $18,040 $30,085
3 $20,295 $33,825
4 $22,550 $37,565
5 $24,365 $40,590
6 $26,180 $43,615
7 $27,995 $46,585
8 $29,810 $49,610

Note: Use gross income to determine total family income. (Gross income is your income before taxes have been taken out.)

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Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis · 3763 Forest Park Ave. · St. Louis, MO 63108 · 314-371-0400