Habitat is continuing to build 3 bedroom 2 bath homes in the Halls Subdivision on Spurlock St. in Alcoa and is seeking qualified buyers for the upcoming 2023 builds.
Space is very limited and applications will only be reviewed until the program capacity is reached.
Blount County Habitat for Humanity (BCHfH) builds and sells homes to eligible buyers in the Blount County community. This is made possible with the very hard work of the buyers, volunteer labor, grants, donors and sponsors. BCHfH does not offer 1stmortgage loans. All BCHfH homes are purchased using affordable 1stmortgage loans through USDA Rural Development or FAHE JustChoice Lending. BCHfH’s Homebuilder program works with eligible buyers to prepare for a mortgage loan application and homeownership.
The homebuilder program offers many benefits:
- Help applying for a mortgage loan
- Help with closing costs
- In-house down payment assistance grant for those eligible
- Free homebuyer education
- Free financial management mentoring
BCHfH’s homebuilder program has 3 primary criteria:
Need for Housing – Need for housing is considered in four ways: rental cost burden, condition of current housing, homelessness and overcrowding. Blount County Habitat for Humanity Home builder Selection Committee works with the Programs Manager to determine if a qualifying need for housing exists.
Ability to Repay an Affordable Mortgage – Ability to repay an affordable mortgage is determined by applicant’s credit report, debt owed, household income, employment verification, rent verification, etc.
Willingness to Partner
- Willingness to partner very simply means a buyer completes the requirements of the program. All buyers must earn sweat equity. This is hours awarded for the time spent in homebuyer education, financial management and mentoring, work at the ReStore, work on construction and work with a credit counselor if needed.
- Additionally all buyers must save a buyer contribution equal to 1% of their contract purchase price.
All applicants must:
- Reside in Blount County for the last 12 months
- Be a legal resident of the United States
- Household income at or below 80% area median income determined by HUD. For more information, please see Income Limits.
- No ownership interest in a home for the last 3 years
- No member of a household may be required by any jurisdiction to register as a sex offender
- No household member 18 years old or older may be convicted of certain drug or violent criminal offenses (subject to review)
Blount County Habitat for Humanity will consider applications from homebuyers with household income at or below 80% of the area median income for the family size as determined by HUD. HUD updates this information annually.
- Chart Here
- BCHfH uses grant funds when available to make the home more affordable to the buyer. These grant programs may have additional income requirements that must be met by the buyer. Certain properties or funds may be restricted based on these requirements.
APPLYING FOR THE PROGRAM
The application process includes a written application and supporting documents (like tax returns, verifications of income, creditworthiness, employment, rent, etc.), underwriting (or the process used to determine if the buyer can afford a Habitat home and qualify for a mortgage) and a home visit with the Selection Committee to determine the need for housing and Board of Director approval. Due to COVID, Habitat may modify the application process to ensure the safety of volunteers, applicants, and staff.
All buyers are referred to as Partners on purpose. We must work together in partnership to realize Habitat’s mission of decent housing for all. This partnership begins at the time of application.
We will not process incomplete applications.
Applications are available:
- Print from blounthabitat.org
- Request by email [email protected]
- Pick-up at the ReStore– 548 N. Foothills Plaza Dr., 865-982-8717
- By mail
Application Assistance by appointment. Call 865-233-9110 to schedule.
Complete as much of the application as you can before the meeting.
SWEAT EQUITY: WHAT IS THAT?
Buyers spend time in class, managing money, working at the ReStore, helping at special events, building homes, and volunteering in the community. This time is called Sweat Equity. There is no dollar value or refund for sweat equity if a homeowner is deselected or withdraws from the program.
BCHfH requires Sweat Equity for many reasons:
- Communities and Partnerships work best when everyone plays a part.
- Builds community and creates connections between the buyer, Habitat staff, volunteers and the community.
- Neighborhood pride: Helping to construct homes gives a feeling of accomplishment and ownership.
- It gives the buyers an opportunity to meet their neighbors before they close.
- Build skills & knowledge to help deal with maintenance and repair issues.
Accommodations are made for buyers requiring special consideration.
All buyers apply for select mortgage loans with Habitat’s assistance. Habitat partners utilize third party mortgage loans through USDA Rural Development or FAHE JustChoice Lending. Homes are purchased with the affordable mortgage loan each buyer is eventually approved for. Habitat cannot sell a home to anyone who does not qualify for an affordable home loan.
BCHfH uses a combination of affordable 3rd party mortgages, grants and Habitat subordinate loans to make each home as affordable as possible. BCHfH defines affordable as 21-25% of the buyer’s gross monthly income.
HABITAT HOME DESIGN
BCHfH builds the best home we can while keeping the buyer’s needs in mind. We are not a custom builder but are committed to safe, decent and affordable homes. Sometimes the home design is influenced by characteristics of the lot and the community where it is located.
HOME REPAIR PROGRAM
Home repair is a large part of Habitat’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. The home repair program makes safety and health based repairs and modifications to existing homes. We utilize affordable loans, grants and donations to fund this program.
REPAIR & MODIFICATION PROJECTS
Repair & Modification Projects Can Include:
- Heating & Air
- Bathroom Modifications
- Trip Hazards (Interior & Exterior)
- Electrical Systems
- Plumbing Systems & Leaks
In order to qualify for the Habitat Home Repair Program you must submit an application establishing:
- Need for Home repair in order to make your home safe and healthy for occupancy
- A willingness to partner with Habitat through Sweat Equity and Program Compliance
- Ability to pay by qualifying for one of the available financial products
- Additional qualifications:
- Home located in Blount County
- Legal resident of the United States
- Household income up to 60% or 80% area median income (based or funding)
- Proof of homeownership
- The home is your primary residence
- Pass a criminal background check, including a sex-offender registry check
Program Requirements Include:
8 hours of sweat equity required. Please note special accommodation will be made for persons with disabilities.
Repair Financing: Habitat utilizes loans, grants and donated services to make home repairs affordable. We use the following financial products:
- USDA 504 Loan
- USDA 504 Grant
- THDA Emergency Repair Grant
- FHLB Carol M. Peterson Housing Fund
- Pinnacle FAHE Loan Fund
APPLY FOR THE HOME REPAIR PROGRAM
Program applications are accepted and processed on a first-qualified, first-served basis. Habitat will accept applications while funds are available. We will not process incomplete applications, so please call with questions, (865)982-8717.
- Download an application here or request one be sent by mail, contact us by email [email protected] or by phone (865)982-8717
- We will review your complete application, then call to discuss your financial options and schedule a home inspection
- A home inspection will be completed by our Home Repair Project Manager
- A scope of work is agreed to and a financial product application is submitted if required (varies by product) *
- Once you have financial approval a contract is executed and work begins**
- A final inspection is performed by the Home Repair Project Manager when work is complete***
*There is no guarantee you will qualify for the financial product, or that all the work you request will be completed.
**Work may be performed by licensed 3rdparty professionals OR by Habitat and affiliated volunteers.
***A 3rdparty inspection may also be required. This varies by financial product.