The Homeownership Program

The most important people in the Habitat NOVA community are the families we serve. Since 1990, we have helped people invest in themselves and their communities through affordable homeownership.

In accordance with Federal Fair Lending Laws, Habitat NOVA does not maintain a waiting list of applicants and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, handicap, or familial status. The number of applicant households approved for Habitat NOVA home ownership is driven by the availability of developed properties. 


How Does it Work?

Habitat NOVA sells homes to income-eligible households.  Our homes are sold at no profit.  Mortgage payments of approved applicants will be no more than 30% of the gross monthly income of the applicant(s).

What is an Application Cycle? 

Habitat NOVA hosts several Homeownership Program orientation sessions when an application cycle begins. During the orientation, you can learn more about the properties available, the process for homeownership consideration, and deadlines for your application submission. Applications are distributed at the program orientation sessions or may be retrieved at our Alexandria office during an application cycle. Applications are not accepted after a deadline or prior to the beginning of a new application cycle.

Becoming a Habitat NOVA Homeowner

Applicants must meet our income guidelines, demonstrate a need for affordable housing, and be willing to perform up to 400 hours of “sweat equity” to build their own homes. This includes at least 20 hours of financial education. Our selection process for interested applicants includes a review of financial status, job history, residency, and other qualifications. A Family Selection Committee selects families for the homeownership program from a pool of eligible applicants.

The Omar family stands in front of their new home after the dedication ceremony.

What is Sweat Equity?

Sweat equity is part of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia’s foundation. It is the volunteer labor that Habitat NOVA homeowners contribute to building their own homes or other Habitat homes, and the time they spend in financial and homeowner education courses. Homeowners begin working on sweat equity after they are selected as future Habitat NOVA homeowners and must complete their hours before they move into their new homes.

How Long Does it Take?

The homeownership process, from the time of family selection through construction and sweat equity, can take up to two years.

Do You Meet the Requirements?

  • Applicant(s) has not owned a home within the past three years.
  • Applicant(s) have a minimum credit score of 650.
  • Applicant(s) cannot qualify for a conventional mortgage loan.
  • Household’s annual gross income is no more than 80% of the area median income (AMI).

Income Guidelines

Area Medium Income for family of 4: $126,000.00
Families must fall between 40%-80% to qualify
Income %1 person in household2 people3 people4 people5 people6 people7 people
40%$35,280$40,320$45,360$50,500$54,432$58,464$62,469
80%$70,560$80,640$90,720$100,800$108,864$116,928124,992