Homeownership

All Habitat homeowners go through a rigorous application process. Each qualified applicant puts in at least 250 hours of volunteer work which includes attending financial literacy and home maintenance classes. Approved homebuyers will receive a mortgage made affordable to them thanks to our donors and volunteers.

Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna relies on financial and in-kind support to continue our mission of helping low-income applicants become homeowners. Currently only 4% of our building materials are donated, the remaining 96% are purchased through financial donations.  Your financial support to Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna keeps your charity dollars local.  Local giving is a win win for us all, improving our neighborhoods and home values through home ownership.

Eligibility Criteria for the Homeownership Program

1.  HOUSING NEED

Qualified applicants that demonstrate the greatest need for a Habitat house will be selected.  Need is determined by home visits.

(Examples of need include: structural problems, inadequate living space, safety, and stability.)

 

2.  ABILITY TO PAY

Current employment, bank accounts, credit reports and landlord references will be checked to verify the applicant(s) ability to pay the monthly mortgage payment.  Each mortgage payment is then used to build future Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna homes.

To qualify financially, the income of an applicant cannot be below $19,888 to afford a Habitat mortgage or exceed the highest income listed:

Effective 6/1/2018 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
Cecil County

Highest Income

$48,950 $55,950 $62,950 $69,900 $75,500 $81,100 $86,700 $92,300
Harford County

Highest Income

$50,350 $57,550 $64,750 $71,900 $77,700 $83,450 $89,200 $94,950

 

3.  WILLINGNESS TO PARTNER

Timeliness, understanding, and eagerness are necessary to partner with Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna.  Sweat Equity is the actual hands-on physical involvement of approved homebuyers.  These hours are not monetary contributions toward their home, but required volunteer hours.

Required Sweat Equity hours:

       –   Single-Applicant 250 total sweat equity hours required
       –   Two-Applicants 500 total sweat equity hours required

(Examples of Sweat Equity : Construction of Habitat homes, classes in homeowner education and budgeting, office assistance, preparing or serving food to volunteers, school grades of applicants’ children, self-development, community development, etc.)

 

4.  RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT

Applicant(s) must live in Cecil or Harford County for at least one year prior to their application and be a permanent legal resident of the United States OR a United States citizen.

How can I apply for the Habitat homeownership program?

To be considered as a potential homeowner partnering with Habitat, you must apply to the program interest form below and attend an applicant orientation meeting. Please call the Family Services Coordinator, Yvette Valentin, at 410-638-4434 ext. 1 or  yvalentin@habitatsusq.org for details and to reserve a spot at an upcoming meeting.

All homeowners must volunteer for Habitat Susquehanna as a part of their commitment to the program. Please go to the Volunteer page on this website to register. Contact Brianne Young, Volunteer Coordinator, at 410-638-4434, ext. 4 or byoung@habitatsusq.org with questions.

2019 Orientation Dates

Daytime Orientations: Wednesday 10am on Jan. 9, Mar. 13, May 8, July 10, Sept. 11, and Nov. 13.

Evening Orientations: Wednesday 7pm on Jan. 9, Feb. 13, Mar. 13, April 10, May 8, June 12, July 10, Aug. 14, Sept. 11, Oct. 9, and Nov. 13.

To attend, please click on and fill out the interest form below.

Housing Interest Form


Your Information

We only service Harford and Cecil counties, MD

Household Information


Current Housing Situation

 
 

How did you hear about us?

 

Financial Literacy Classes

(Open to the public – all are welcome!)

APG Federal Credit Union in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna will be conducting FREE financial workshops at their Home Loan Center in Bel Air.   Click here to view the schedule.

Reservations are required. Please contact Dee Barretto at 410-612-2361 or at workshopRSVP@apgfcu.com

 

Home Maintenance Class

(Open to the public – all are welcome!)

Habitat for Humanity’s home maintenance class is an informative 1-hour session on how to properly upkeep your home. We focus on specific seasonal maintenance such as how to’s on heat and AC units, weatherization, creating a more energy efficient home and much more. A certificate of achievement will be given at the end of class.

Our next class will be November 30th at 5:00 pm.  It will be held at our ReStore located at 1013 Beards Hill Road in Aberdeen. Call 443-567-7698 to reserve your spot.

 

 

 

Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna does not discriminate against any applicant because of age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna is a mortgage lender NMLS #1439405 

 

Our Homeowner Stories

We heard about Habitat through some church friends who knew we needed a home because of I have a lot of medical issues that my current residence cannot accommodate.   My husband was in a bad accident in 2014, suffered a TBI and was soon put on disability.  Our dream is to be a homeowner, but because of our income it is hard to find something affordable. 

I suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2004 and basically had to learn to live life all over again. I was approved for disability and started striving to regain my life back.  My husband and I have had some challenging time, but have strived to overcome them. In 2007, we found out I was pregnant – despite the fact that I was told I could not have any more children.  This was scary because I was already 5 ½ months and on many medication and didn’t know if we would have a healthy baby, but in December 2007 we were blessed with a son!  Although he has some learning disabilities, he is perfectly healthy.

We have big hearts and strive to help anybody we can. We are very active in church despite our disabilities.  We pray we are accepted by Habitat so that our family could not only fulfill a dream, but have a home that is safe for all my disabilities where I do not have to worry about falling or can maybe be showered with a little help. 

Thank you for taking time for us and we pray we get the chance to finally live in a “safe place” and my son can play outside without any worries.

I’m a single mom of four wonderful children!  Their ages are 16, 14, 10 and 9.  Although I’ve worked hard to make ends meet for my children, it hasn’t been enough to afford a place of our own. 

My children and I lived in public housing in Baltimore City for a few years.  I was terrified to allow my then, two children to play outside because of all the violence.  After being accepted in a Section 8 program (MBQ), we moved to Baltimore County and then Harford County, where we currently live. While living in Baltimore County, I worked hard to complete the External Diploma Program and received my High School Diploma.  I then enrolled in

 Community College to receive my AA degree in Human Services, however I became ill and had to have a few surgeries.  Complications during my last surgery left me with no feeling in my right lower body.  When leaving the hospital, I was unsure if I would regain feeling and walk again.  This caused me to put my college education on hold.  By the grace of God, I regained feeling and was able to take care of my children without the assistance of friends and family.

Although we enjoy the area we live in now and the program, the house doesn’t belong to us and Section 8, for me, is just a stepping stone.  Also, as my children continue to grow, we are limited to space which is why I sleep in the basement. 

Since moving to Harford County, I’ve worked two jobs at a time until I could no longer keep it up because my youngest son had become sickly with asthma, eczema and severe allergies.  I would like to own a house for my children and myself, however it seems impossible without the help of Habitat for Humanity.

I chose Habitat for Humanity because I want my children and I to have a safe and welcoming home of our own that we can afford.  With all the struggles that we’ve endured, I do believe that all things have worked together for our good.  I truly thank God for the blessings and support from my family as well as my church family.  I’m also grateful that Habitat for Humanity has considered my family.

Looking for a better quality of life for my family, we moved back to Maryland in June 2011  leaving our loved ones back in Puerto Rico.  It was a hard decision to make, but when you need to look for better things for your children I had to make that decision.

I started working in ShopRite and remained there for 2-years.  My kids started school and everything was moving smoothly – thank God.   I applied at APG Federal Credit Union and have been with them for almost 5-years now.  Now that I’m established in my career, I decided to look for information because I want to be a homeowner.  A friend talked to me about Habitat Susquehanna and after looking at some information, I decided to go to the orientation.  Before this, I did not have any hope because I can’t afford a mortgage. Then I found out that Habitat Susquehanna will help me buy a house with an affordable mortgage payment.

Living with my Aunt has been a blessing, but it’s time for me to have a home for my kids and myself.  I know that this is a door that God has opened for me and my family and I am not letting go of this great opportunity to be a homeowner.

I come from an ordinary family of blue collar workers. Neither of my parents graduated from college nor did the major

ity of their siblings. Needless to say, my circle hasn’t been very interested in thinking BIG.

I am driven to be different. My past reflects a monumental ability to endure through difficult circumstances. I am 28 years old and the single mother of Izaac, my beautiful 4 year old son.

 During my pregnancy I lived at home with my family, hoping to have their support when the baby came. For the first 4 months I did! It was wonderful! Soon after, however, my grandparents needed a 24 hour caretaker. I did not have an “employer based” job, so off I went to care for them.

These were some of my most trying times. My grandmother suffered with Alzheimer’s and my grandfather could hardly walk. I had to be up in the morning to make breakfast for everyone, safeguard my grandparents as they toddled uneasily throughout the day, care for my still new infant and somehow hold a nightly vigil so my grandmother wouldn’t stroll the neighborhood at midnight.

Sadly, their health declined rapidly. My grandfather was in and out of rehab to regain strength in his legs, meanwhile my grandmother struggled to remember the last 15 years of her life. She had no clue that I was her precious granddaughter whom she frequently told me stories about.

My grandmother left us first, and in her passing my grandfather seemed to give up hope. He began to have hallucinations from his wartime past. In the end, he had no desire to leave the bed which landed him in a wheelchair for his last few months of life.  Once they were both with the Lord I needed to look for a new home. I couldn’t go back to live with my family because while I was gone, they planned to move to Georgia.

Right around Christmas I received a call from Perrywood Gardens that they had an apartment ready for us. YAY! We moved in shortly thereafter and I was able to have my son’s first birthday in our own home. We lived there for two years, happy to have a place to call home. My son began to have severe breathing problems from the smoke that would leak into my apartment continually day and night. We lived on the third floor, so we also had to walk through a haze of toxic air every time we went in or out of the building. It became a nightmare.

Thankfully, a woman that I knew put one of her rooms up for rent in her home. The price was right and the area was smoke free so I did what any loving mother would do, I took the room.

Now my son and I live with my good friend and landlord. We share a room upstairs, in her attic bedroom. His lungs are healing and we haven’t had any emergency trips to the doctor since the move. However we do need our own home so my son and I don’t have to share a room and we can have a space to call ours again. I pray the Lord allows Habitat for Humanity to be the blessing I am believing for. 

My daughter, Amanda, and I moved to Elkton in 2005 from New York City.  We like it here very much.  Amanda attends a local college and works part-time.  She is attending classes to become a nurse and works in the healthcare field in Elkton.

When we first started thinking about home buying, I have to admit Habitat for Humanity did not come to mind.  I thought to myself, Habitat for Humanity only gives homes to poor people, not someone like me.   Once I attended the Homeownership Orientation, I learned the truth about the organization.  I learned that Habitat for Humanity gives the hope of homeownership to families just like mine!  They do this through providing services like credit and debt counseling, homeownership education, and good old fashion hard work or as they call it “Sweat Equity”. 

They assist in providing affordable housing opportunities and a safe and stable home for people who are unable to obtain conventional financing for a home.  Not to mention, I appreciate an organization that thinks investing in others is important.  As a prospective homeowner, it feels good to know that I am considered a partner with Habitat for Humanity and my mortgage will be used to build new homes for other families  in need. 

Habitat for Humanity teaches the importance of helping others by paying it forward, through God’s love.  These are just a few reasons I chose Habitat for Humanity.  I really appreciation Habitat for Humanity for even considering me for this opportunity.  As my daughter would say, “my mom is one person that does not take an opportunity of a lifetime for granted”.

I am very grateful for my spiritual path and the grace and blessings that fill my life.  My Catholic family and education instilled me with faith and a desire to be of service.  Volunteering and community service have always been part of my life. 

I had a 26-year career as a Federal civil servant, working for Social Security and Medicare.  I moved into more direct service in my second career by offering therapeutic massage and bodywork for 15-years.  I’m currently seeking work in a third career of offering assistance to people facing end-of-life issues.

Over the years, three major events have impacted my finances: 1) Early marriage/divorce resulting in many years of supporting my daughter and myself solely on my salary. 2) Early retirement from Federal service, accepting a reduced pension. 3) Denial of survivor’s benefits after the death of my husband.   The combined financial impact of these events, plus the effects of inflation have made me realize I must take responsibility for creating financial security and maturity.  I attended one of APGFCU’s financial literacy classes which I found through the MD CASH Academy.  It was through Dee Barretto, APGFCU’s presenter, that I had learned about Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna.  I felt comfortable with the loving non-judgmental approach and support.  I’ve been given a seed of hope, encouragement and the tools I need to work toward the goal of home ownership and financial stability. This process has been life-changing. 

Thank you for your consideration.

I don’t know where to begin, so I will just start here…  I was in a 13 year marriage of severe domestic abuse.  I left several years ago with our first two children, but as I’ve come to learn the average woman in abuse takes eight times to actually leave for good.  That being said, we go back together and had two more children.  The abuse continued and actually got extremely worse.

During this time, I worked very hard and held two great career positions; however because of my home situation, I eventually lost my employment and had to rely solely on his income to support us.  I went back to school and got my degree in Psychology.  The strain of the relationship and the abuse continued to take its toll on me and my kids, but I was finally able to have him arrested on three separate abuse charges and he was incarcerated for a 5-year term which included a no contact order.  With his incarceration and loss of income, we lost everything.

My children and I lived at SARC safe house where I was able to obtain three part-time jobs. Although I didn’t have any prior experience doing them and none of them were what you could consider career jobs, it was a humbling and fresh start. I started working with a financial advisor from APGFCU, Nancy Hill and with her help I was able to start budgeting, saving and working on my horribly damaged credit – mainly due to his bad choices.

Eventually my time at SARC had ended and we were once again saved from homelessness by being accepted into Harford Family House’s transitional housing program where my rent is more affordable than it would be on the open market with a family of five.

I have worked very hard at paying my debts off and saving.  I was blessed with a grant that helped pay off a lot of the debt as well.  I have saved for a home and know that renting for a family of five will be more than my income allows, so that’s why owning a home is really the best and only option; however getting an interest rate that is affordable with a mortgage that is also affordable is not something I can foresee finding.  Our lease is up in September and our options are very limited.  I have no family that we can stay with and most subsidized housing either cannot meet my family size needs or there is a 1-4 year waiting list, so homelessness would be inevitable.  After attending the homeownership orientation, I saw that this is the best program and option for me and my children.

My faith in God has kept me strong and I am amazed at how caring and remarkably resilient my children have been throughout this whole process. They all volunteer at our church and in other areas of our community.   My two oldest are honor roll students and have received many accolades and certificates. My oldest has dreams of being a social worker and says “I want to help children who are abused and homeless”.

I have been blessed with full custody of my children.  I have safety and security for the first time in my adult life and am free from harmful, negative people.  I can only imagine the amount of people who need this program and understand there may be more circumstances of people in need – I just ask for your consideration.   Habitat for Humanity would be helping me own our first home and a fresh, new start to our future.

My family consists of me, my son and another precious baby boy on the way.  My ultimate goal and dream has always been to own a house.  My kids deserve the best and I want them to be proud of their mommy’s accomplishments.  I also want them to have a stable, amazing, safe and secure home.  My kids are my motivation for everything I do. Owning a home would truly be a dream come true.

I’ve actually worked with Habitat’s partner, Dee Barretto from APGFCU, to get my credit score up drastically.  Habitat for Humanity has already made a great impact on my life and I can only imagine the feeling of working on and building a home of my own.  I would love to experience that feeling!

I chose Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna because I’ve heard so many good things about them from one of my old managers who is actually a Habitat homeowner in Westminster and from a regular customer who volunteers for Habitat.  Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna seems very welcoming and amazing!   It also seems like an awesome organization!   I see how much they’ve helped other families and they seem to be just like a big, close family!  God bless this organization.

 

I am a 58-year-old divorced woman with Multiple Sclerosis. After 36 years of marriage, our marriage.  I had never taken care of the bills or done the main grocery shopping.  Anything dealing with the budget, my ex-husband insisted on handling himself. After filing for bankruptcy, I had to work on building my credit up – which I have accomplished well.  

I am currently living with a friend who is renting me a temporary place to live until I can get into a place of my own. I am hoping to be considered for a home through Habitat for Humanity because my income would probably not qualify me for a traditional loan.  I do not need a big house; a two bedroom would be more than enough. 

Thank you for considering me!

My name is Liz.  I have a six year old daughter named Lily.  Her father and I separated in November 2014 and divorced June 2016.  Luckily he is a good father and helps us financially.  Unfortunately, even with his help, I find it hard to find any place [that I can afford]. 

After Lily’s dad moved out, I was unable to afford our home.  We had a roommate for several months, but she ended up leaving and I was unable to find a replacement.

We ended up short-selling the home and when that finally went through in September 2016, Lily and I moved in with my sister and brother-in-law. 

Although I feel this is a safe environment for Lily, I can’t help but want a place of my own.  They were very kind to open their home to us, but it is understood that this is temporary.  They haven’t given us a deadline, but I know they don’t want us here forever. 

My manager suggested I try Habitat.  I was and still am to go through the process because I know Lily and I are not in as much need as many others around us. But at the same time, I want to provide her with a safe and happy home of her own.

Thank you for considering my application to Habitat for Humanity.

My name is Mulugeta, born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  I came to the USA in May of 2004 seeking better work opportunities.  I have been working at Rite Aid since April 2005.  This job has made me independent and has enabled me to lead a decent life.  In January 2012, I married my wife, Sara, in Ethiopia.  She was able to join me in the USA in June 2013.  Sara has been working since October 2013.

I have lived in the same apartment in Aberdeen since 2008 and although I have enjoyed living here, it is proving to be too small for my growing family.  My wife and I were able to start our family and had our son, Biniam, in October 2014.

I have been wanting to own a house for a while now; however due to financial situations, this dream has not materialized.  I am hoping that through Habitat for Humanity, an organization that supports families with low income, I will be able to get the support that I need to finally make my dream a reality.  My hope is, through this program, to purchase a house which my growing family and I can call a home.

Thank you very much for the opportunity to be part of your program.

My name is Lemma Gutema and my wife’s name is Mulatwa.  We are originally from Ethiopia, in the east of Africa.  I migrated to Yemen during the government change while my wife, Mulatwa, moved to Yemen in 1992.  We married in 1999 and our only child, Kalkidan, was born in 2000. Kalkidan has been disabled since she was 1-years old.

We moved to the USA, in 2005 and became permanent residents. Finding the right apartment has always been a problem for us. We are tired of moving from apartment to apartment, caring for our disabled child.  On top of that we need a house that is really suitable for a disabled person.  We want a house that can accommodate our situation. We applied because we need to settle in one house for the rest of our life.

We thank Habitat for giving us this opportunity.  We pray that God to blesses the organization and make us the hand to reach more people like us.  After migrating to two countries, two states in the USA and two apartments in Maryland, we will finally settle in ONE house.  It is our hope that this will help bring peace to our mind, rest to our body and benefit to our finances.

 

Click here for 2018 Homeowner Stories.

Click here for 2017 Homeowner Stories.

Click here for 2016 Homeowner Stories.

Click here for 2015 Homeowner Stories.

Click here for 2014 Homeowner Stories.

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