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 $25,000 to afford a Habitat mortgage or exceed the highest income listed:

Effective 6/28/2019 1 Person Home 2 Person Home  3 Person Home  4 Person Home 5 Person Home 6 Person Home 7 Person Home  

8 Person Home

 

Cecil County                 

Highest Income

$50,500 $57,700 $64,900 $72,100 $77,900 $83,650 $89,450 $95,200
Harford County                 

Highest Income

$52,850 $60,400 $67,950 $75,500 $81,550 $87,600 $93,650 $99,700

 

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.

 

2020 Homeownership Orientation Meeting Schedule

Until further notice, these orientations will be held on the internet via Zoom.

Daytime Orientations: Wednesday 10am on  *CANCELLED/July 8th*, Sept.9th and Nov. 11th.

Evening Orientations: Wednesday 7pm on *CANCELLED/July 8th*,  Aug. 12th, Sep. 9th, Oct. 14th and Nov. 11th.

To attend, please fill out the interest form below. 

 

How can I apply for the Habitat homeownership program?

To understand all the requirements, you need to fill out the program interest form below and attend an applicant orientation meeting. Please call the Director of Homeowner Services, Yvette Valentin, at 410-638-4434 ext. 1 or  yvalentin@habitatsusq.org for details and to reserve a spot at an upcoming meeting.

 

To attend, please fill out the interest form below and hit “Save” to submit.  You will receive a confirmation in a separate email with details about the upcoming Orientation.

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 is conducting FREE financial workshops at their Home Loan Center in Bel Air.   For more details or to see the schedule click here.

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 TBA.  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

My name is Gerard, I’m a Sephora worker; married to Charlene since 2013. She is a student at Harford Community College and also works at Sephora. We have a 10-month old daughter, Gabriella. We are African, precisely from Republic Democratic of Congo and live in Aberdeen since February 2016. We need a stable, secure and safe home for our family and hope that Habitat can help us realize our dream.

We currently live in an apartment under conditions that we cannot change because we are only renters. Conditions such as small space, expensive rent and plumbing issues that we fear are affecting our health.

Habitat can help us to own our home in a safe and secure place where we can raise our daughter in good condition and give her the best in her life.

Assefa’s Story

First of all, I am glad to be considered for the homeownership program. I was born in the country called Ethiopia located in the eastern part of Africa. I am a permanent resident of the USA. I came from Ethiopia in March 2016. I live in the basement of a friend’s house and I work a full-time and a part-time job. I have helped build a Habitat home for another friend which led me to inquire with Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna.

I have two sons and two daughters that are living in Ethiopia. My wife’s case is in process to come to the US to live with me. I want to have a home ready for when she comes.

Thank you for considering me to be a Habitat for Humanity homeowner.

 

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 the mom of three really amazing children. Finding a full-time job has been difficult – the years I spent at home with my children had put a gap in my resume. Though I had skills from volunteer work, running my own home based business and retail management; it was hard to find an employer who could see how those skills would translate into the business world. Last August, I was lucky to find an employer who finally did! It was such an accomplishment. I felt like I was finally on the forward path to establishing my new life, on my own, my children and me. It was a huge boost to my confidence and it made me so very proud to show my children how perseverance can pay off if you just keep fighting for what you want. This was only the first step I felt to what is my journey to establishing “ME”.

I do not know how long we have in our home. I began to look at rentals or possibly purchasing a home of my own and wasn’t sure I could even afford this. Then I remembered Habitat for Humanity and I decided to look up the programs that were available and see if there would even be anything to help me – and there was a meeting scheduled for the next week. I signed up immediately! I was not sure what would be involved or how it all worked, but I knew I had to at least look into it.

Getting a home of my own would mean so much to me. It would mean I survived – not just survived, I overcame! It would be my testament to establishing myself, to starting over, to providing for my family on my own. It would be mine. It would be a safe and stable place for my kids – it would be ours. It’s hard to put into words really what it means. After years of not really knowing who I was and trying to figure out this new role of single parent it would be my reminder that anything is possible, to never give up and to always, always have and keep faith because when you do the reward is greater than anything we could ever imagine

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

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.

Anthony’s Story

My name is Anthony. I’m a single dad and have full custody of my son, Nathyn.

I’m a carpenter and build stairs. The company I work for is Saiennie Stair. We specialize in circular stairs. I have been there since 2016 and love it!

My son tells me when he grows up he wants to be an inventor or a scientist.

We live with my parents. It’s nice for Nathyn to be close to his grandparents, but I feel we need a place of our own. He’s getting to the age where he wants his own space, but it’s hard to give that to him when this isn’t mine to give.

My parents are planning on relocating to Florida in the next few years. I choose Habitat for Humanity because I can get step-by-step help on getting my own place. They can help me budget money and teach me what it takes to own my own home – for me being a woodworker, this is right up my alley.

I hope this gives you a little insight on me and my family. We would forever be grateful for this opportunity!

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.

I had to leave my marriage due to multiple abuse. From the time I left my ex-husband, I had to stay at SARC, a domestic violence shelter for about 3 months. The SARC helped me get into a transitional housing program, Harford Family house. I stayed with Harford Family House for about 2-years. I heard about Habitat for Humanity while I was there. I tried to apply for a Habitat house at that time, but I didn’t qualify due to credit issues. Then, a friend turned her basement into a 2-bedroom apartment for me and my children. She offered this to me temporarily in order for me to get back on my feet and hopefully own my own place one day. Since then, I have worked hard at repairing my credit and have even gone back to school to get my master’s degree in order to improve my life and my children’s lives as well. Once I graduate, I believe I will have better pay and better job opportunities. Having a Habitat house would help my children have more room to live and play and would really give them the stability that we all need. We will be able to actually have an affordable place to at we can call home for the first time in our lives.

 

 

Alemseged’s Story

We are a family of five – me, my wife, my two daughters and my son. We are originally from Eritrea, Africa and permanent residents of the United States since 2016. We left our country because of political, social and economical crisis which are still going on to this day. We have lived in an Ethiopian refugee camp – 8-years for myself and 6-years for my wife and children as I left the country before them. After many years in the camp facing difficulties, the United States accepted our case and gave us a golden opportunity to come to this country.

Starting from the first day we entered the United States, we have been living a normal life – having all the basic necessities like education, insurance, etc. for our children. However, we are still having some problems. We are currently living in a two-bedroom apartment where all our children are staying in one room which is not recommended especially as our children are becoming older. In our neighborhood people are addicted and bad examples for our children. We have been searching for any possible remedies, but are very limited financially until we heard of Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna.

We chose Habitat because of its best performance, trust worthy and very affordable to low income families like ours. My wife and I want to have stability, strength and good characters for our children We believe that Habitat Susquehanna is the very best solution and we’re very eager to be in our own home and tell others how happy we are in our home by Habitat.

Hiwot’s Story

My family is originally from Eritrea. I came to the US in 2011 and became a US Citizen in 2019. We are refugees. We left because we did not feel safe or have freedom and wanted a better live, education and future.

My son’s name is Nobel and is 15. He is a good student making A’s and B’s and is usually on the honor roll. He enjoys playing soccer and helps take care of his little sister, Rufuta who is 5. She loves going to school to learn. She loves to dance and draw. My children are very important to me and they are the reason I am choosing Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna for their safety and future.

I worry about having enough space for them to play, but also for them to have their own privacy. Right now my children are sharing a bedroom. This is hard on my teenaged son. My daughter has lots of energy and it’s hard for her to be active in an apartment.

We try to be good neighbors by keeping noise down, being clean and following rules. Unfortunately, others do not and I want to keep my children away from bad influences and drug proximity. My current apartment keeps raising my rent and it is weighing heavily on my budget.

I want my children to be safe, happy and healthy. I know that Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna can help make our dreams come true.

 

 

Click here for COMPLETED 2020 Homeowner Stories

Click here for 2019 Homeowner Stories.

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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