Our banner hanging at our Blssing of the Bikes 2019 T-shirt booth.

Family Selection Criteria


Lake County Habitat for Humanity, Inc. works locally with families and volunteers to build simple, decent and affordable homes for God’s people in Lake County, Michigan. The selection of families for Lake County Habitat for Humanity homes will be completed by a process to determine housing needs, the capacity to repay the mortgage, residency requirements, and willingness to partner with LCHH. This process does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, age, handicap, religion, national origin, marital status, familial status, or because part of the applicant’s income is derived from any public assistance programs.


Housing Needs

Substandard conditions in current housing:

  1. Structural problems

  2. Problems with plumbing, sewage, or electrical systems

  3. Unsafe heating system

  4. Lack of insulation/broken windows

  5. Unhealthy living conditions (mold, leaking roof, or pest infestation, due to cracks & crevices)

  6. Currently paying more than 30% of the family’s monthly income for rent.

  7. Inadequate number of bedrooms, as determined by quantity, ages, and gender of household members

  8. Homelessness (includes living with family or friends)


Capacity to Repay Mortgage

  1. Gross family income (based on all means of income generated by family) should fall below sixty percent and must never exceed eighty percent of the median income for family size.

  2. Lake County Habitat requires a one-year history of income sources, and all income must be reliable, whether seasonal or monthly.

  3. Must be two years past bankruptcy

  4. Must be able to save $500.00 for a down payment.

  5. Must be current with all bills, rent, etc.

  6. Food stamps cannot be used to make mortgage payments and should not be counted as income

  7. Legal implications (child custody, marital separation, etc.)

  8. No liens or judgments that can be cleared before closing.

  9. Credit Report

  10. An applicant can be considered to be within the guidelines of his or her total debt payment (excluding projected house payments to Habitat) does not prohibit the applicant from paying for child care, food, clothing, transportation, education, health insurance and care, house maintenance, and other items critical to basic living.

  11. Debt-to-Income Ratio:

    1. Front-end ratio: Maximum thirty percent (percent of income that goes toward housing costs (rent or all components of the current mortgage payment)

    2. Back-end ratio: Maximum forty-three percent (percentage of income that goes toward paying all recurring debt, including that covered by the first debt-to-income ratio and other debts, such as credit card payments, student loans, child support, alimony, or legal payments.

  12. Applicants with excessive debt will be referred to credit counseling and invited to reapply at a later date.


Residency Requirement

  1. All applicants must be residents of Lake County for at least one year prior to being accepted into the program and must use the home as their permanent residence.

Willingness to Partner 

  1. The applicant will provide all application information in a timely, honest manner.

  2. The family will participate in the home visit and must attend any required education sessions.

  3. The family will pay the down payment and any closing costs (if applicable).

  4. The applicant will avoid new consumer debt during this process.

  5. The applicant will live where the affiliate has land available to build.

  6. The applicant will notify the affiliate of any changes in family composition.

  7. The applicant will notify the affiliate of loss of income and any changes in contact information.

  8. The applicant agrees to maintain the home.

  9. The applicant agrees to pay the monthly mortgage without default.

  10. The applicant provides contact information for current employers, landlord, etc.

  11. The applicant keeps all appointments.

  12. The family will meet the sweat-equity requirements: 250 hours per/ adult over eighteen years of age in the household & will have the hours properly documented.


Here at Lake County Habitat for Humanity, we're always looking for volunteers! 


We can use your help with:

          Habitat Office Duties

          The Habitat Restore

          Fundraising Efforts

          Committee Membership





Save time by downloading & printing our Volunteer Form!

Need to fullfill Community Service Hours? Give us a call!


(Individual or Group, during construction season, must be 17+ years of age to operate tools.)

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Our 2019 Community Build groundbreaking volunteers. 



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For many United States military veterans, coming home can be quite difficult and adjusting back to life as it was can be hard. By 2020, nearly 40,000 veterans will have returned to Michigan. These brave men and women have sacrificed so much to serve our country. However, a majority of veterans leave the military without having identified permanent housing or living arrangements. They deserve a place of peace and stability. Here in Lake County, we work to give back to our veterans through homeownership opportunities, home repairs, and comradery-building events. Together, we can give veterans the opportunity they need to build strong and stable lives.

We proudly serve Veterans of all United States Military branches.

Our Veteran Services Include: 

Home Ownership

Home Repair



Our 2019 Community Build groundbreaking Team Rubicon volunteers.