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Homebuyer Qualification Criteria

homeowner at closing

Applications for homes in The Cove neighborhood in Dade City, Florida are CLOSED.

Homebuyer Qualification Criteria

Habitat is currently building at The Cove in Dade City, Florida.


Decent shelter is something we all need to thrive. The individuals and families who partner with Habitat for Humanity to build and improve places to call home come from diverse backgrounds. You can be married, single or living with a partner. Your household can have children or several generations living together. You can be child-free or living with adults who are willing to partner with Habitat to purchase a home together.
The basis for homebuyer selection applicants level of need for better housing, their willingness to partner with Habitat and work alongside volunteers, and their ability to pay an affordable mortgage.

Habitat does not give houses away and Habitat homeowners must be active participants in building a better home and future for themselves and their families. Our homebuyers help build their houses by putting in 400 hours of sweat equity. Sweat equity can also include taking homeownership classes or performing volunteer work in a Habitat ReStore.

Homebuyers then purchase their houses with an affordable mortgage that Habitat facilitates. Habitat ensures that an affordable mortgage does not exceed 30% of the homeowner’s gross monthly income.
Homebuyer applicants qualify by demonstrating their need for a better housing, their ability to pay for it, and their willingness to accomplish their sweat-equity hours and other requirements.

Habitat for Humanity of East and Central Pasco County prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, and national origin.

Our organization provides equality of services and care to everyone, regardless of people’s age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion or belief, or sexual orientation.


Need for Affordable Housing

You may find yourself in need of decent shelter due to a variety of circumstances:

  • unpredictable rent increases,
  • overcrowded living conditions,
  • damaged or dilapidated structures,
  • unsafe neighborhoods,
  • lack of access to land and affordable financing,
  • homes within your financial reach.

Ability to Repay an Affordable Mortgage

  • Wage earner(s) must demonstrate a steady source of income for at least 2 years.
  • Meet necessary income related qualifications that include a sufficient debt to income ratio, etc.
  • Have reasonably good credit. We don't require perfect credit. We consider families who demonstrate the ability to make regular payments on their bills. For the current cycle we are considering those with credit scores of 640 or above. If your credit needs work, we can refer you to resources that can help you to apply for a future home.

2023 Income Guidelines (based on HUD standards) updated May 2023

# of people that will be living in the home Min. Income (Yearly) Max Income (Yearly)
1 person $32,000 $53,500
2 people $32,000 $61,150
3 people $32,000 $68,800
4 people $32,000 $76,400
5 people $32,000 $82,550
6 people $37,000 $88,650
7 people $41,000 $94,750
8 people $46,000 $100,850

Willingness to Partner

  • Homebuyer Partners must show a genuine interest in the overall community reinvestment philosophy of Habitat for Humanity of East and Central Pasco.
  • We check and verify information about prospective homebuyer partners on their income, current rent, and relationships with landlords, and account status with utility companies and banks.
  • We also verify references, run credit and background checks (including criminal history). 
  • Once a homebuyer partner is selected and approved, that applicant must then complete up to 400 sweat equity hours.

Additional Criteria

  • We currently require our homebuyers to attend the Pasco County homebuyer class, this 8-hr HUD certified class is mandatory for all borrowers seeking local, state and federal down payment assistance. This class is open to the public and can be taken before application is made with Habitat, but not required until closing day. Please be advised it must be taken no sooner than 2 years from your home closing day. 
  • We require all of our homebuyers to apply with third party financing, such as the USDA 502 program. $25 cashier’s check made out to USDA must be included in your USDA application to cover your credit check. This is NOT required for the initial Habitat application. Cash requirement (typically covers first year of insurance) for the USDA 502 program is approximately $1000, payable over time, prior to closing.

If you do not meet these requirements, exceptions are rare and would be made on a case-by-case basis. You also can find more affordable housing information by visiting

  • 37220 Meridian Avenue
    Dade City, FL 33525

    Office Hours
    Monday - Friday
    8:30 am - 4:30 pm

  • 4700 Allen Rd
    Zephyrhills, FL 33541

    Tuesday - Saturday
    9:00 am - 5:00 pm
    closed Sunday and Monday