Individuals and families who are interested in applying for the Habitat program must meet a number of requirements, which fall into three categories - NEED, PARTNER and PAY.

Demonstrate NEED

Families applying to the Habitat program must currently have a need for decent, affordable housing.

  • Substandard Conditions
  • Overcrowding
  • Homelessness
  • Cost-Burden

Be willing to PARTNER

  • Perform “sweat equity” by working on their house and other Habitat houses, at the Habitat ReStore and at other area nonprofits. Individual homebuyers are asked to complete 350 hours; couples are asked to complete 400 hours. Eighty percent of the hours must be completed before construction begins on the family’s house. Only 30 percent of hours can be “donated” by family and friends
  • Make a 2 percent down payment — at least $1,000 (can be paid in increments)
  • Build a $1,000 emergency fund
  • Complete the multi-week Habitat Institute Homebuyer Education Course
  • Meet quarterly for one year after move-in with Habitat’s Family Services staff to discuss their adjustment to homeownership
  • Maintain or decrease your “debt-to-income” ratio while in the Habitat program

Be Willing and Able to PAY

Families must have stable, verifiable income sufficient to support a monthly mortgage payment and other expenses and must meet the income guidelines listed below. Habitat serves families earning less than 80% of area median income for Shelby County. Income guidelines are set by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. Having income within these guidelines does not guarantee eligibility.

Family Size Gross Yearly Income 
 1 $18,000 - $33,600 
 2 $19,800 - $38,400 
 3 $21,600 - $43,200
 4 $23,400 - $48,000
 5 $24,850 - $51,580
 6 $26,300 - $55,700 
 7 $27,750 - $59,550
 8 $29,200 - $63,400

Other Qualifications

  • Be a first-time home buyer, meaning they have never owned a home or haven't owned a home in the past three years
  • Have not had a home in foreclosure in the past four years
  • Be unable to qualify for a conventional loan due to income level
  • Be able to prove ability to afford the monthly payment and household expenses
  • Have fair or passable credit and no judgments or liens
  • Have not declared Chapter 13 bankruptcy in the past 12 months or Chapter 7 in the past two years
  • Must have re-established credit from any previously declared bankruptcies

Monthly Homeowner Orientation Sessions

We ask that all applicants attend a homeowner application orientation session to begin the application process in person. Or, interested applicants can submit an application and then attend orientation. (Child care services are not available.) Click HERE for a list of orientation sessions in 2017.

To learn how to apply for the Habitat program, click "How to Apply" below to learn about the two ways you can apply for the program.



Contact our homeowner information hotline at 901.322.3512 for information on upcoming orientations.

Solicitar una casa

Para obtener más información, haga clic aquí

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Memphis, TN 38125


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Equal Housing Opportunity

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of the U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin. For information on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, click here or contact your local HUD office