frequently asked questions

What is the mission of Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region?

A: Founded in 1994, Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region is a non-profit, non-denominational faith based housing organization. We welcome all people without discrimination to join us as we build simple, decent, affordable homes in partnership with low-income families in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington areas.

How is Habitat for Humanity Funded?

A: Habitat for Humanity Affiliates receive support from corporations, foundations, faith groups, individual donors and fundraising events. Administrative costs are paid for by profits from the ReStore which allows monetary donations to be used for building houses.

What is the Habitat for Humanity ReStore?

A: The ReStore is Habitat for Humanity’s retail store that sells new and reusable building materials, furniture, applicances, etc. that have been donated. The Habitat ReStore is an innovative response to landfill and encouranges sustainability by diverting thousands of tonnes of reusable material from going to waste. Everyone is welcome to shop at the ReStore.

What does Habitat for Humanity do with the mortgage payments received from homeowners?

A: The mortgage payments go into the Affiliate’s Fund for Humanity trust account to be used only for building more homes. In time, our Affiliate will build enough homes to fund new homes yearly just from the Fund for Humanity alone.
The more homes we build, the more families we can serve!

Can a family choose their home and where it is?

A: Habitat for Humanity works with our homeowner partners to build a home that is suitable for their family, however, the houses are not custom-built. We rely on the generosity of sponsors and donors, therefore, there are times when the family will have no choices, except to decline partnership.

Can we see the homes you are building?

A: Our key ceremony is open to the public and you can walk through the home. Once the title to the property has been transferred to the homeowner, the homes are private residences and we ask that you respect homeowner privacy.

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

A: The homes are built according to the size of the family and their needs, including accessibility. The average 3-bedroom home is 1,050 square feet.

How does Habitat for Humanity select Families?

A: A family must fill out an Expression of Interest application to see if they fit the family requirements. If the family’s initial application is approved, they will move on to a more in-depth screening process. All applicants must have an income less than what would typically qualify for a traditional mortgage but be able to repay an interest-free mortgage and be willing to put in 500 hours of volunteer work on Habitat for Humanity activities.

A volunteer committee reviews all applications and conducts a thorough screening before the Board of Directors approve the family for partnership.

When does sweat equity have to be completed?

A: The 500 hours must be completed before the family moves into the home.

Is there flexibility with how the 500 hours of Sweat Equity is done?

A: Yes – a great deal of flexibility. There is a wide variety of work approved by Habitat for Humanity to be completed by partner families. Friends can also help earn a percentage of a family’s hours. The hours can worked around the schedule of partner family members.

What kinds of families are eligible?

A: All family members on the application must be legal permanent residents of Canada or Canadian citizens, and must have lived in Canada for a minimum of three years.

What is the largest family size allowed? Can I have my partner’s family live with us?

A: Habitat for Humanity builds homes for the family that lives together at the time of application. You may not have other family members join you after you have been approved in order to increase the size of your home.

Can my mother/father who is living with me be included in the application?

A: Yes, if they live with you today and will continue to do so in the Habitat for Humanity Home.

Does the income criteria change if the family size changes in the future?

A: Habitat for Humanity cannot predict the future, so the application decision is based on the situation of the family at the time the application is completed and reviewed.

How is my income defined if I am self-employed?

A: Habitat for Humanity counts your income based on your Notice of Assessment provided by Revenue Canada for the last three years. Also required is a business statement completed by your accountant.

Must I disclose a previous bankruptcy?

A: Yes. Any applicant must be discharged from bankruptcy for at least two years. A written record of the discharge is required.

How does Habitat for Humanity consider income lost during maternity leave?

A: Habitat for Humanity considers this to be a temporary situation. We will wait until a person returns to work after maternity leave to ensure that the income is consistent with previous levels. Our interest is for the family’s success as homeowners. Maternity leave does not disqualify the application but slows it down until the applicant returns to work.

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

A: Always keep us posted about changes in your income and housing. If you lose your income, we cannot approve you, but we can reassess the application when you find a stable source of income.

What are my options if my application is rejected?

A: You may re-apply after one year if your situation changes. Conditions that we reconsider are housing, income or expenses.

What does a Habitat for Humanity Home Cost?

A: Habitat for Humanity homes are not free. The homes are appraised and sold to the families at fair market value. However, there is no down-payment, the mortgage is interest-free, and monthly payments are geared to the family’s income.

Do you have to maintain the minimum income level each year? How does this affect my mortgage payments?

A: If your income drops, Habitat for Humanity will review the situation with you and endeavor to find a solution to the problem. Although Habitat for Humanity will work with you to explore ways to solve the problem of loss of income, you
can lose your home if you are unable to pay the mortgage.

What happens if I want or need to sell the home?

A: Sometimes Habitat for Humanity homeowners sell their homes, for example if someone gets a job in another city or the size of the family increases/decreases. Habitat for Humanity has the right of first refusal to purchase the home from the family at fair market value and the homeowners pay back the remaining balance of the mortgage. There are equity sharing provisions in the Habitat for Humanity
mortgage.

What happens if my family’s income increases or decreases?

A: A Habitat for Humanity mortgage requires an annual income review. Should you lose your job, you should have emergency money saved and work as quickly as possible to get another job in order to maintain your mortgage payments. Should your income increase, your mortgage payments will be reevaluated to be 30% of that new annual income.

If my income changes and my monthly mortgage payment is increased by Habitat, does this impact the cost of the home?

A: No. The cost of the home remains the same. It simply means that you pay it off more quickly.

Can I use my RRSP to make my mortgage payments?

A: You can, however, you should discuss this with a financial planner who will provide you with professional advice. It might not be in your best financial interests.

Is there a down payment on the house?

A: No, but you will need some savings for moving and legal expenses at the time of the transfer of title to your home.

What happens if I pay off my mortgage in less than the amortization period?

A: You own your home debt-free ahead of schedule.

Who owns the land that the house is built on?

A: You do once Habitat for Humanity transfers the title to you.

How do I get more information on applying for a Habitat for Humanity home?

A: Visit www.habitatkingston.com, call 613-548-8763 or e-mail office@habitatkingston.com

Where do I send my application?

A: Habitat for Humanity Kingston Limestone Region, 607 Gardiners Rd, Kingston ON K7M 3Y4. You can also fill it out online.

have questions?

For more information, email office@habitatkingston.com or call 613-548-8763.
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