Habitat for Humanity of Benzie County

How It Works

What does Habitat for Humanity do?

Habitat for Humanity, as a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry, works in partnership with people in need of improving the conditions in which they live.  Habitat challenges people of compassion to provide the initial capital through gifts and no-interest loans to build or renovate simple, decent homes for the inadequately sheltered. Houses are sold at no profit, with affordable monthly payments. The house payments received by Habitat are recycled to build more houses through a local Fund for Humanity.

What are the criteria for becoming a partner?


  • Current shelter has an inadequate number of bedrooms.
  • In general, more than three family members share a bedroom, or
  • School-age children of opposite sex share a bedroom, or
  • Some family member(s) have no bedroom
  • Current shelter has problems with heating, plumbing, or electrical systems, or problems with the structural integrity of the home that are not readily repairable.
  • The total cost (including taxes, insurance, and utilities) of present housing exceeds 30% of gross income.
  • Applicants are unable to obtain a conventional or government-assisted mortgage loan to purchase a home assuming all financial resources are utilized.


  • Applicants must have a reliable monthly income source and demonstrate a history of financial responsibility.
  • Applicants must have the financial ability to meet their total debt obligations. Total of all monthly debt payments, including approximately $550 per month to Habitat for mortgage payments, taxes, and insurance, should not exceed 40% of gross income.
  • Applicants must have a satisfactory credit history and references. Credit history is considered satisfactory if no outstanding liens or judgments exist and acceptable explanations are provided for any derogatory information.
  • Current maximum annual income guidelines for Benzie County are:
Family Size Maximum Income Family Size Maximum Income
1 $23,700 5 $36,600
2 $27,120 6 $39,300
3 $30,480 7 $42,000
4 $33,840 8 $44,700


  • Applicants must agree to maintain their Habitat homes upon occupancy.
  • Applicants are expected to assist in the construction of their home and the homes of others. Applicant shall agree to commit a minimum of 350 hours (two-adult family) or 200 hours (single-adult family) sweat equity.


  • Applicants must be residents of or employed in Benzie County for at least one year.
  • If I apply and am selected as a partner, what requirements must my family and I satisfy?


  • Agree to a location and to the specific plans for a home to be constructed for you.


  • Pay $600 to fund an escrow account for your first homeowner’s insurance premium and closing costs. This may be fully or partially funded through monthly payments agreed upon by the partner family and HFH-BC. In the event that your partnership is discontinued for any reason, by any party, these funds will be returned.


  • Work a minimum of 200 hours per one-adult family or 350 hours per 2-adult family before taking occupancy of the home, in accordance with the Sweat Equity Policy statement. Habitat for Humanity will not pay you or compensate you for any of these sweat equity hours in the event that you leave the Habitat partnership for any reason. They are to remain as your investment in the ministry.


  • Attend all scheduled homeowner meetings, including advisory council meetings, and mandatory workshops that will cover many topics relating to home ownership. This may include individual finance counseling with a Financial Advisor.


  • Cure all debt in default as outlined in our Debt in Default Policy that is included in the Homeowner Manual.


How do I start the application process?

Complete a Contact Form

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, family status, or national origin.

contact us today to get started

Contact Us

Seeking to put God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communitites, and hope.

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April is Home Is The Key month!
Many people are spending over half their income on rent.
If we join together, we can ensure people in Benzie County have a decent, affordable, simple place to call home. But we need your help.
Please stop into the Restore and purchase a key that we will display on our wall with your name on it.
You can purchase $1, $5, $20 or any amount you wish.
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