Our Homeownership Application is closed until further notice. Please join our waitlist to be notified once our selection cycle reopens.

We provide a hand-up, not a hand-out, by partnering with the families accepted into our program to help them become successful homeowners. Approved applicants will purchase a new or rehabilitated home with a zero-equivalent or low-interest 30-year home loan.

              • Applicant must live or work in DeKalb County for a minimum of one (1) year prior to applying
              • Be a citizen or permanent legal resident of the U.S.

Selection Criteria

The Habitat model uses three criteria to determine whether a family qualifies for our homeownership program:

Need for better housing

  • Current housing is unsafe or overcrowded
  • Currently paying more than 35% of income for rent
  • Must be a first-time home buyer
  • You are unable to obtain an affordable mortgage through conventional means

Willingness to partner

  • Must complete 250 sweat equity hours. Sweat equity hours are earned by volunteering to build your home and other Habitat projects
  • Attend and pass all home owner education classes and workshops

Ability to pay

  • Have a steady source of income
  • Have good credit history (based on your credit report, NOT your credit score)
    • Charged-off debts or collections are $2000 or less
    • Bankruptcies and/or evictions have been discharged for a minimum of two years at the time of application. If it was dismissed, you must have paid off all debts to the bankruptcy
  • Total household income must fall within the listed guidelines, adjusted for family size

Interested in becoming a DeKalb Habitat homeowner?

 Applicant Process to Approval

  • Complete Pre-qual survey
  • Complete Information session
  • Submit Complete Application
  • Home Visit and Interview

If approved – you will begin your partnership with Habitat DeKalb by completing classes, and begin working on your 250 sweat-equity hours


The application period is now closed.

1. Attend Information Session

  • Information about our program will be presented with opportunities to ask questions.


  • You will leave the session with a list of documents you need to gather in order to submit a complete application

2. Review Application

  • The pre-qualification and new home ownership applications must be completed truthfully, on time, and with all the requested information.


  • A sexual offender and criminal background check will be conducted. Employment and rental history will be verified.


  • A member of the Family Selection Committee will contact you to set up a time to visit and conduct an interview with you and your family at your current residence.

3. Approval Confirmation

  • The qualified applicant will be presented to the Board of Directors who will make a final decision on a family’s acceptance into the program.


  • Once accepted into the Homeownership program, the process from acceptance through moving into a home can take 8(eight) months to 2(two) years, depending on available funding, construction schedules, and the future homeowner's progress of completing requirements.


  • Inevitably, there will be more qualified families than homes available so not all qualified families will be approved.

More questions:  Click the Application tab above and attend one of the available homeowner information sessions


Homeownership Benefits

In Dekalb County 10% of individuals are below the poverty line. There are 145,825 single families homes owned in DeKalb County, and as many as one in two families who own their home live below the poverty line.

A family with one fulltime worker earning the minimum wage cannot afford (at 30 percent of income) the local fair-market rent for a two-bedroom apartment anywhere in the country.

Homeownership provides a wide range of benefits to individual homeowners as well as society as a whole

  • Children of homeowner score better on academic tests, graduate at a higher rate, and have fewer behavior problems

    • 7% Higher reading scores
    • 116% more likely to graduate from college
    • 59% more likely to own a home 

  • Homeowners are more likely to become active in civic activities as well as participate in local elections

    • 15% more likely to vote in local election
    • 10% more likely to know their U.S. Congress member by name
    • 6% more likely to solve local problems