OWN A HOME
BUILDING DREAMS TOGETHER
Habitat STW is unique in that we have a Homeownership Center (HOC) that is the only HUD certified homeownership counseling agency in St. Tammany Parish.
Families and individuals visit the HOC wanting to own a home and our Housing Counselors work with them until they achieve that dream. They counsel and coach clients through income and credit issues and assist them throughout their homebuying journey.
With the support of St. Tammany Parish, the St. Tammany Homeownership Center was created by Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West to help more local residents achieve and sustain homeownership. The Center is staffed by experienced, certified homeownership counselors and instructors. We serve a wide range of St. Tammany Parish homebuyers. Some of our clients go on to apply with local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and some take one of several other paths to homeownership based on their individual needs. We also serve local homeowners in need of home repairs and accessibility modifications.
We provide a range of services to help people explore, prepare for, and sustain homeownership. Most services fall into two categories: counseling and classes. For more information: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 985-893-3172 Extension 246.
Experienced counselors work with you to determine your mortgage readiness. We will evaluate your credit, and other key components of the type of financing chosen, and together we will develop a plan to overcome any credit or savings obstacles and continue to support you through the entire home buying process.
Home Repair/Rehabilitation Counseling:
Experienced counselors work with you to provide information on available community resources, and help qualified homeowners apply for repair grants and affordable repair loans to finance health and safety related home repairs.
Registration is mandatory for the following classes. Contact information is listed.
Guides potential buyers through all steps of the home buying process, and provides information on protecting and preserving their home and investment. The 12-hour workshop consists of four 3-hour evening classes held over two weeks, and is held every other month. Fee associated with class. For schedule information or to sign up email email@example.com or call 985-893-3172 Extension 246.
Teaches basic financial and money management concepts and skills, with an emphasis on building financial responsibility and long-term financial success. It combines hands-on activities and small group discussion with the fundamentals of sound money management. The 12-hour workshop consists of four 3-hour evening classes held over two weeks. It is held every other month. Fee associated with class. For schedule information or to sign up email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 985-893-3172 Extension 246.
Buying a home is just the first step. You need the knowledge to care for what is likely to be the biggest investment you’ll ever make…your new home. These classes are designed to help new homeowners understand basic home systems and preventive maintenance. They help you understand and plan for the responsibilities of homeownership. Instruction, discussion and hands-on practice are used. For schedule information or to sign up email email@example.com or call 985-893-3172 Extension 246.
TO APPLY WITH HABITAT FOR HUMANITY ST. TAMMANY WEST:
1. You must live or work in west St. Tammany Parish
2. Your yearly family income must fall into the range below:
3. Your current housing must be:
Substandard– problems with heat, water, electricity or structure
Inadequate– not suited for a family member who has a limitation
Dangerous– located in unsafe or unsanitary conditions
4. Print out and complete the following documents:
Once complete, call the Homeownership Center for an appointment or for more information.
TO AFFORD A HABITAT HOME, WE MUST DETERMINE THAT:
1. Your income is steady and stable over time
2. Income will allow you to save for closing costs
3. You can afford the monthly mortgage payments along with your other debts
4. Your credit report and current debts show satisfactory payment history. If you have credit problems, help is available. Contact us for more information.
To learn more about our repair program, contact our
Homeownership Center at 985-893-3172 x246 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Does Habitat for Humanity give homes away to low income families?Houses are not given to anyone. Habitat for Humanity builds homes with those in need and then sells them to homeowner partners. Because of Habitat's no-profit, no-interest loans, and because houses are built principally by volunteers, mortgage payments can be kept reasonably low to those unable to obtain conventional financing for a home. Habitat homeowners typically have incomes that are 30-60 percent of the median income in the area. They are required to invest an average of 300 hours of sweat equity-time spent building their own home or other Habitat homes.
Does Habitat for Humanity build homes only for minorities?We build houses with people in need without regard to race. Three criteria drive the family selection process: need; ability to repay the no-profit, no-interest mortgage over a 30- year period; and a willingness to partner with Habitat for Humanity. The U.S. Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibits denying anyone housing on the basis of race, sex, creed, marital status, color, or national origin. The covenant that all local affiliates sign with Habitat for Humanity International also specifies that Habitat for Humanity homeowner families are selected "according to criteria that do not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, or ethnic background."
Are most Habitat homeowners on welfare?While some do receive public assistance, most homeowners work at low-wage jobs. Our local homeowners include veterans, employees of local restaurants, hospitals and many other service type industries. Habitat for Humanity works in good faith with people who often are at risk in society, knowing that owning a home is not the answer to every problem, but can be an important step—often the first step—toward helping people break out of the cycle of poverty.
What keeps Habitat homeowners from selling their houses and making a large profit because of the original low cost?Special second mortgages that are "paid off" by living in the house, as well as first buy-back option clauses that many affiliates put into their agreement with homeowners, help alleviate concerns that some people may have regarding the resale of houses.
Where does Habitat for Humanity build?Habitat for Humanity—through local affiliates—is at work in both small and large cities, suburbs and rural areas, in highly developed countries and in those with emerging economies. Because poverty housing is so widespread, Habitat's work goes on 365 days a year in hundreds upon hundreds of locations throughout the United States and around the globe.
Is Habitat for Humanity an arm of the government?Habitat is an ecumenical Christian housing organization. It is neither an arm of the government nor an arm of any church or denomination. Habitat works with the government in the following ways: we ask legislators and housing regulators to increase support of affordable homeownership, we monitor public policies related to housing and we advocate policy choices that increase access to affordable housing. We accept government funds as long as they have no conditions that would violate our principles or limit our ability to proclaim our Christian identity.
Do Habitat houses reduce property values in a neighborhood?Low-cost housing studies in the United States and Canada show affordable housing has no adverse effect on other neighborhood property values. In fact, Habitat houses have increased property values and local government tax income.
What is the Habitat ReStore?The ReStore accepts donations of new and gently-used items from individuals and businesses. We sell those items to the public at prices well below retail. We use the proceeds to build Habitat homes with families in need in our community. Our ReStore is located at 1400 North Lane, Mandeville LA.
How do we build homes?•Funding is provided by generous tax-deductible donations of money and materials. Funds also come from mortgage payments of Habitat homeowners, grants and ReStore proceeds. •Habitat relies on volunteer labor and sweat equity hours completed by homeowners to construct houses. •Homes are sold to partner families at no profit, financed with affordable no-interest loans. This is part of the "revolving fund" of Habitat, with mortgage payments going toward construction of more homes in the area. •Habitours are available for those who are interested. A Habitour is a 1-hour guided tour of West St. Tammany neighborhoods in which Habitat STW has had a significant impact. Tours are free and open to the public. Contact Leighanne Weeks at (985) 893-3172 ext 244 for more information.