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.

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 John Lanigan, Volunteer Coordinator, at 410-638-4434, ext. 3 or jlanigan@habitatsusq.org with questions.

2019 Orientation Dates

These orientations are located at:  Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna 205 S. Hays Street, Bel Air 21014

Daytime Orientations: Wednesday Nov. 13.

Evening Orientations: Wednesday 7pm on Oct. 9, and Nov. 13.

These orientations are located at:

Evening Orientations: 

Wednesday, 6pm on Oct. 16 = ReMax Vision located at 2288 Pulaski Highway Suite A, North East 21901.

To attend, please click on and email to yvalentin@habitatsusq.org 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 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

As a little girl, I always dreamt about what I wanted my life to be. I wanted to marry prince charming, have kids and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, life does not always go as planned nor is it a fairytale.

My name is Veronica and I am a single mother of 2 amazing, loving and awesome kids. Nothing prepared me for parenthood, but I am happy to say, my children have brought me happiness, joy, laughter and life lessons.  I do what I do for my children, they are my motivation and encouragement.

I was never married, but being with my children’s father for 12 years you can say we were. As I got older and wiser, I realized the relationship we had wasn’t healthy for either one of us including our kids. I made the ultimate decision to break the relationship off. I worked 2 jobs trying to make ends meet, trying to save for a house and attended school along with my children’s after school activities such as dance, football, basketball, book club etc. It feels like I have been in school forever, one day I will finish school and become what I desire which is to become a nurse. Being a single mother with no help it is hard and a challenge.

After about a year of working two jobs, I realized how I was focused on working so hard to provided for my children and to give them what I didn’t have as a child, rather than giving them what was more important, my time. I quite my second job and thought when my time comes to own a home it will come. I believe everything happens for a reason when it happens.

My ultimate goal has always been to own my own home. I always wanted to give my children things I had never had before and more. I want them to have a house they can call home, a place where they feel protected and secure, a home where they can have all the sleep overs they want and a home filled with laughter. Owning my own home will be a dream come true not only for me but for my children as well.

I choose Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna because I heard great things from a coworker. It turns out one of her friends went through Habitat. My coworker encouraged and talked me into it. She said “Go for it, you’re a hard worker, a single mother the amount of money you pay for rent you can pay for a mortgage. Do it for your kids”. I took her advice. I went to the class did what they asked me to do, a few weeks later I received a letter saying everything looked good and they wanted to move forward. I did not think I would be considered. Its exciting! How many people can say “I did that”, “I helped build my home”. I am looking forward to working with Habitat for Humanity Susquehanna it is a great opportunity.

 

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.

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 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. 

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”.

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 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

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.

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.

 

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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