See what other people are asking about our Homeownership program, Critical Home Repair program, ReStore and Volunteer opportunities.
The process of homeownership begins by applying during an open application period. Check our website (habitatbrla.org/homeownership) to see if we are accepting applications. To apply for the Habitat Homeownership program, please register to attend the Habitat for Humanity Homeward Bound Orientation. At this meeting you will learn how to qualify for the Habitat program and receive a homeownership application at the end of the meeting. If we are not accepting applications, please check back later. Our website will be updated as soon as the next application period opens.
Applicants are anyone who is applying to become a homeowner. For example, in the case of a married couple with children, the parents are “Applicants,” and the children are not.
We need an ID and Social Security Card for everyone over the age of 18 who will be living in the home.
Income for all applicants is verified and evaluated by Family Services staff. Any applicants that do not fall within the most recent income bracket (27-80% MFI) will be denied. Check the current income bracket here.
If the income looks okay, a credit report is pulled and evaluated by Family Services staff. We look for zero to very low debt (no more than $750 of debt in collections, no more than $3,000 in medical debt in collections, charge-offs, judgments, etc.) and low debt overall (amount of acceptable debt depends on income). We do NOT use specific credit scores.
If the applicant meets financial requirements, there may be a home visit. At the home visit, the staff gathers information about the applicant’s need for housing and willingness to be an active partner with Habitat throughout the program. All this information is included with the applicant’s financial information and presented to the Selection Committee.
After the Selection Committee approves the application, it is presented to the Board of Directors for approval.
Habitat considers the whole picture of an applicant and looks for applicants ready to accept the responsibility of homeownership. By federal law, we CAN NOT sell an applicant a home that they cannot afford. We do not expect applicants to have a perfect credit history. We do require applicants with negative credit accounts to have a plan to fix any outstanding collections or past-due items. Excessive debts and/or unresolved collections may disqualify an applicant.
Applicants who have filed for bankruptcy in the past should show a good credit history since the bankruptcy, and bankruptcies must have been discharged at least three years before the housing application.
If you are unsure about your credit, apply anyway. If you get denied, feel free to ask the Family Services staff how you can fix your credit to qualify in the future. We cannot answer specific questions about your credit until you apply.
If you plan to apply for Habitat’s Homeownership Program during the next application round, you can prepare by collecting your financial documents. Get a recent copy of your credit report and check to ensure the information is correct. Each year, you can get one free copy of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com.
If you have outstanding negative credit items, you may want to develop a plan to address them with a credit counselor.
Again, if you are unsure about your credit, we encourage you to apply anyway! Our Family Services staff is happy to help you with your credit, but we can’t do that until you apply.
“Need for housing” generally means that an applicant’s current housing is inadequate. The Selection Committee typically chooses applicants who can prove at least one of the following housing conditions:
Habitat for Humanity is not a quick housing solution. The application process takes three to four months. If an applicant is accepted into the Homeownership Program, the process from acceptance through moving into a home can take two or more years, depending on available funding, construction schedules and the future homeowner’s progress through the program.
Absolutely. However, if your application is denied, there is a one-year waiting period. If an applicant is not approved during the current application process, we encourage them to improve eligibility and reapply in a year during another open application round.
Some of our partner families were denied the first time they applied due to outstanding collections and debts, income below our limits or other issues. They successfully improved their eligibility, reapplied and were accepted into the program.
If you need help finding community resources, our Family Services staff can refer you to tools and resources available to help you improve your situation.
Sweat Equity is the work a future Habitat homeowner spends helping build their own home and the homes of other prospective homeowners. It is a central principle in Habitat’s mission of building community and partnering with families to provide “a hand up, NOT a handout.” Providing the opportunity for our future homeowners to work alongside volunteers and future neighbors to build their homes is one of Habitat for Humanity’s most unique, empowering, and rewarding aspects.
Once you are approved by the Board of Directors to become a part of our Home Ownership Program, you must complete at least 255 Sweat Equity hours at Habitat’s construction sites and other activities. It’s essential for a future homeowner to give consistent, active participation on the construction site.
If a future homeowner has conditions that prevent them from volunteering on an active construction site, staff will arrange for other opportunities to fulfill the Sweat Equity requirement.
Habitat does not require any previous construction skills or knowledge to be a volunteer or a future homeowner. We have a fully trained staff and long-term volunteers eager to teach our future homeowners and volunteers the skills they need to be successful on the construction site.
Habitat is a nonprofit organization that provides three distinct services in the homeownership process: home construction, mortgage financing and mortgage servicing. For-profit real estate businesses would typically deliver these services. Additionally, Habitat staff members serve as housing mentors here to support our homeowners in learning the ins and outs of homeownership, getting through challenging times and celebrating successes. By providing all of these services by ourselves, Habitat can keep our costs low and make the closing process more affordable.
Because Habitat builds homes with affordability in mind, Habitat homeowners have more limited choices about their homes than someone buying from a traditional homebuilder. While Habitat homeowners can choose things like the exterior paint color of the home, the homeowner will have limited choices about things such as the location of the home or the size of the home.
The most crucial difference is that we offer a 0% interest mortgage. By not charging interest, we can keep monthly payments low and open the door to homeownership for those who would not be able to buy a home of their own.
Our homeowners generally can choose:
Habitat homes include new refrigerators, stoves, washing machines and dryers. Dishwashers and microwaves are NOT included.
Habitat builds homes only on lots that we own. We will NOT build on your land or land that your family owns.
While we cover four parishes, East & West Baton Rouge, Iberville & Ascension, all of our current builds and planned builds are in the City of Baton Rouge.
No, the Critical Home Repair program does not include rental homes. You must prove you own the home.
Applications are always open for the Critical Home Repair program.
Types of Repairs We Provide:
Habitat ReStore accepts new and used building materials, furniture, appliances and home good from individuals, retailers, businesses and contractors. These good-quality items are sold to the general public at a fraction of retail prices, with all proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity.
Yes! Anyone and everyone can donate and shop at the ReStores. Our ReStore locations are open Tuesday through Saturday form 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Daily! We receive donations every day we are open.
Pricing varies based on the item’s condition. New items are priced significantly off the suggested retail value, while used items are priced accordingly based on condition.
No, our ReStores do not negotiate on prices with customers. Items that have been on the shelves for a certain period may be reduced in price by ReStore staff.
No, the materials are sold in the Habitat ReStores, and the proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity’s home builds.
To donate items, please contact Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge to let us know about your donations, and we will let you know if we can accept your items. If the items are acceptable, you can bring your donated materials to one of our ReStore locations or schedule a pickup if the items are too large to transport.
Yes! Please schedule a pickup online.
Yes! Habitat ReStore is part of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge, a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization. All donations can receive a potential tax deduction.
No, we can not place a value on any donations for tax purposes. This is the responsibility of the donor.
Returns are subject to the following guidelines:
The following items are exempt from the return policy and are classified as non-returnable:
ReStore reserves the right to refuse any return deemed unacceptable or refuse excessive returns. ReStore staff has the right to inspect all returned items before issuing a refund. Refunds are given in the original payment type. Cash purchases over $100 are subject to reimbursement by check issued from our corporate office within 14 business days.
No. Each ReStore is individually operated by the Habitat for Humanity affiliate office in that area. This means they do not all carry the same items, prices, policies, hours, etc.
Volunteers, partnering with our staff, play a vital role in cashiering, donation intake, donation pickups, stocking shelves, pricing items, assisting customers, office work, cleaning, and more! We could not survive without the dedication and commitment of our volunteers.
Yes, all volunteers must be at least 16 years old to volunteer on our construction sites.
Yes, non-construction help is also needed on the build sites with hospitality, providing lunch and registration.
No, most construction tasks only require a desire to learn and work well with others. Regardless of skill level, we encourage all willing volunteers to volunteer on-site and learn from our more experienced builders.
Volunteer construction days are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
All volunteers must complete a Volunteer Waiver Form before volunteering on the construction site.
Yes! We have multiple volunteer opportunities at our ReStores, including inventory clerk, testing & repair tech and recycling & specialist. Apply online today to volunteer at ReStore!
Yes, ReStore welcomes volunteers required by a court to do community service. The ReStores reserves the right to deny any individual in need of court-ordered community service hours the ability to volunteer with the organizations based on the nature, type or specifics of their offense.
Please review our court-ordered community service volunteer policies and procedures here.
To apply to complete you court-ordered community service at the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge ReStores, please submit the following documentation: