Frequently Asked Questions

Once I apply, how long will I have to wait?

Once we receive your preliminary application, we will contact you within a couple of weeks to submit a more detailed application. This will include income and credit reports. If your income and credit report meet our guidelines, your application will be reviewed by the Family Services Committee and a home interview will be set up a mutually agreed upon time.

If you have a lot of applications, how does Habitat for Humanity choose the family?

Where more than one family meets the selection criteria, the family with the greatest need for housing will be selected.

If we are approved for a house, how long will we have to wait to move in?

As a family is approved for a specific house before it is constructed, the average time to move into the new home is 18 to 24 months.

Can I choose my home and where it is?

Habitat builds homes where we can afford to buy the land. If your family is selected for a specific home, you can decline. We may not have any other choices available and by declining you may lose your opportunity with Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area. If there are choices, we will be fair to all requests and decide based on the greatest need.

Can I choose the design of the house?

No, Habitat will create the design for the house based on the lot and neighbourhood.

How big are the homes? Can special needs be accommodated?

The homes are built according to the size of the land. Most homes are 3 bedrooms, approximately 1,100 square feet. A large family would require a larger home with additional bedrooms and when possible we will make accommodation for the size of the family. If there are special needs requirements, such as wheelchair access, we will accommodate as best we can.

What is the style of a typical Habitat house?

The style of home we build is dependent on the size of the land. Where possible, we will build multi-unit homes, such as semi-detached or townhouses to be able to serve more families. Yard size also varies.

Will the house come with any appliances?

Basic appliances such as fridge or stove may be provided by HFHSSMA if there is an agreement with a supplier.

I have two people in my family coming to live with me in Canada, should I wait before applying?

Habitat will only build a home for the family that is living together at the time of the application. We do not build extra bedrooms for future or possible family members.

I am self-employed, how is my income considered?

To assess your income, Habitat requires your income tax files for the previous year.

Must I tell you about a previous bankruptcy?

Yes, a written record of the discharge is required. You may apply to Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie after your bankruptcy has been discharged for three years.

If I complete an application today but my income changes, what happens?

Always tell us about changes in your income and housing. If you lose your income, we may not be able to approve you, but we can reassess the application when you find a stable source of income.

What happens if I want to sell the home?

If you want to sell the home, Habitat for Humanity Sault Ste. Marie & Area has the first option to buy it from you. If we decide not to buy it back, you would be able to sell it yourself.

Is there a down payment on the house?

No down payment is required. However, you will need some savings for moving fees and legal expenses at the time the house is transferred to your name. We require a $1000 contribution to closing costs.

I don’t know anything about construction. Can I still help to build the house?

Yes! Many of the people who help to on the construction site do not have ample experience. We have experienced build coordinators who will give you all the help you need. This is good training for new homeowners so they can manage simple repairs when they own the home.

Regarding the 500 voluntary service hours is there any flexibility in how it’s done?

Yes, there is a great deal of flexibility. There are many different ways that you can volunteer with Habitat – building a house, helping at the ReStore, helping in the office and fundraising. Some volunteer hours can be done at certain community organizations with prior approval by the Executive Director. Extended family and friends can also help you with some of the hours.

When does the 500 voluntary service hours have to be completed?

The 500 hours must be completed before you move into the home. Volunteer hours will not be counted toward the 500 voluntary service hours until after you have been approved to participate in the Affordable Homeownership Program.