Homeownership Program

Learn How to Become a Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia Partner Family

Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia’s affordable homeownership program provides working families and individuals with an opportunity to purchase a safe, decent home by partnering with us.

Please read about the requirements and steps for our homeownership below before filling out an expression of interest.

Our Approach

Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia does not give away houses – we partner with qualified families to build strength, stability, and independence through affordable homeownership. Our unique model combines affordable mortgage payments, community engagement and ongoing support from Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia to help families succeed as homeowners.

A Habitat for Humanity home provides a solid foundation for people to build better, healthier lives in Nova Scotia. Studies show that improved and affordable living conditions lead to better health outcomes, improved educational outcomes and the financial flexibility to make investments in the future. Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia believes that with a little help, we all have the potential to stand on our own.

You must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident.

You must have lived in Nova Scotia for at least two years before the date of the application.

You must demonstrate the need for affordable, safe and/or accessible housing.

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Applicants living in substandard or overcrowded housing are given preference. Some of the factors that will be considered are unsafe or unhealthy living conditions, unsafe or unstable neighborhoods, overcrowding (i.e. three people to a bedroom), high housing costs (i.e. paying more than 30 per cent of pre-tax household income), and lack of access to affordable mortgage financing.

You must be able to pay an affordable mortgage.

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“Able to pay” means that your family earns enough income to pay an affordable mortgage based on the fair market value of the home in addition to property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance and all other costs associated with owning a home.

You must be willing to partner with Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia.

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Willingness to partner means you are (1) willing to participate in Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia volunteer activities, including fundraising events, public announcements, celebrations and recruitment drives; (2) willing to become an ambassador for Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia and volunteer 500 hours of service, either helping to build your home, helping to build another family’s home or taking part in other community service opportunities with Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia or other approved organizations; (3) willing to work with Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia and begin accumulating volunteer hours immediately after being informed of acceptance as a Partner Family with Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia.

You must meet the income guidelines set by Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia.

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Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia currently partners with families in Nova Scotia with a gross annual income between $40,000 and $80,000.

You must show a stable employment history.

You must have a sufficient credit history, with no bankruptcy declarations or consumer proposal filings within the last eight years.

Embarking on the journey towards homeownership with Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia involves several steps, each carefully designed to ensure a successful partnership between Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia and our partner families. While the process may take several months to complete, it’s crucial to ensure that both parties are a good fit for one another. Here’s what you can expect:

Please note that applications are available only when Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia has active builds. We do not keep a waitlist.

Submit an Expression of Interest

Prospective applicants must first submit an expression of interest to indicate their desire to participate in the Homeownership Program and determine their eligibility. Expressions of Interest are available on the Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia website.

Attend Habitat 101 Session: Preliminary Review

After Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia conducts a thorough review of your application to ensure completeness and verify eligibility criteria such as income, residency, and employment, you will receive an invitation to attend a Habitat 101 Session if you are found to meet the requirements for the homeownership program. If Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia determines you are a match for our homeownership program, you will receive an invitation to submit a full application.

Evaluation of the Application

After considering all applications, Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia will review your application and either approve, deny, or request additional information. If approved, you will be notified and asked to sign a partnership agreement, marking the official start of your journey with us.

Home Visit

The Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia team will schedule a home visit to meet with you and your family in person and assess your current living conditions. They will evaluate criteria such as the amount of living space, the condition of the property and the safety of your neighbourhood. This is also an opportunity for us to clarify any information on the application form and provide detailed information about the homeownership program.

Second Home Visit

A follow-up home visit may be scheduled to gather additional information or confirm details provided during the initial visit.

Approval

Upon approval, you and your family become eligible to begin working on your 500 volunteer hours, a vital component of our partnership. Volunteering provides an opportunity for you to assist Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia and contribute to our shared mission.

Ready to take the first step toward homeownership? Apply for Habitat Nova Scotia’s Homeownership Program.

We are currently accepting Expressions of Interest for our next home in New Glasgow.

If you’d like to be notified when applications become available, please fill out the form below. Please note that this is not a formal Expression of Interest, an application or a waitlist. Filling out the below form does not guarantee a spot in Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia’s homeownership program.

We are committed to supporting individuals and families in their pursuit of safe and affordable housing but understand that not everyone may qualify for our Homeownership Program. For those experiencing homelessness or who need emergency shelter, please visit https://ns.211.ca/ for a list of available resources.

FAQs

Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia offers partner families affordable, no-down-payment mortgages – geared to their income – to buy their home at fair market value. Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia can offer this type of mortgage because of the following:

  • Community, faith and corporate sponsorships
  • Individual donations
  • Volunteer labour
  • Government support
  • In-kind support

When housing opportunities become available, Expression of Interest forms will be posted on the Application tab. Please note that applications are available only when Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia has active builds. We do not keep a waitlist.

Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia currently partners with families in Nova Scotia with a gross annual income between $40,000 and $80,000.

Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia partner families pay affordable, no-down-payment mortgages – geared to their income – to buy their home at fair market value. The mortgage is paid over a 20-year term and must be paid in full at the end of the 20 years. Your monthly payment is capped at 30 per cent of your pre-tax monthly income and will be a combination of your principal payment and your property taxes.

While credit history is considered during the application process, it is not necessarily a disqualifying factor. Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia understands that individuals may face financial challenges and works with applicants to assess their overall financial situation and determine eligibility for the program.

Partner families are chosen based on their level of housing need, their ability to repay Habitat’s affordable mortgage and their willingness to partner with Habitat. Partner families must be Canadian Citizens or a Permanent Residents and must have lived in Nova Scotia for at least two years before applying. Priority will also be given to those who are from the community in which we are building.

If you are deemed ineligible for the Homeownership Program at this time, you will receive a letter indicating this decision. However, you may re-apply after one year if your circumstances change, or if another family in greater need was selected. Additionally, Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia can provide referrals to other housing resources and assistance programs in the community.

The homeownership process can vary in length depending on various factors, including the availability of housing units, the completion of construction projects, and the applicant’s readiness to move forward with the program. Families move into their home after:

  • The completion of the house
  • The completion of all volunteer hours
  • Interim occupancy documents are signed
  • The open house (if applicable) and dedication ceremony

The start of construction on a Habitat for Humanity Nova Scotia home will depend upon the availability of resources such as land, permits, volunteers, funding and building materials.

Questions? Contact Us!

Phone: (902) 464-0274
Email: info@habitatns.ca

Meet Our Homeowners

Hear from families who have partnered with Habitat Nova Scotia to achieve their dreams of homeownership. Discover how affordable housing has transformed their lives and empowered them to build a brighter future for themselves and their families.

Get Involved

Interested in supporting our Homeownership Program? Find out how you can get involved through volunteering, donations and community partnerships. We can bring communities together to help families in Nova Scotia build strength, stability and independence through affordable homeownership.

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