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Explore Habitat Homeownership

Two Rivers Habitat for Humanity has been welcoming families home for 30 years. The families we partner with invest “sweat equity” in their home, take classes to prepare them for homeownership, and purchase their homes with an affordable mortgage.

Our path to homeownership is an important and in-depth process requiring hard work, time, and dedication. Each partner family is paired with a mentor who will walk with them every step of the way.

Habitat homeownership is an Equal Housing Opportunity and anyone may apply. 

Interested in applying?  Watch this quick video to learn more.
Ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do I need a better place to live because my current home is overcrowded, deteriorating, or unhealthy?   Have I done everything I can to improve where I live, but it cannot or will not get any better?

  • Am I willing to spend hundreds of hours helping to build my own home before I see any payoff or results?  Can I work hard, consistently, toward my long-term goal of owning my own home?

  • Can I share my life and my “story” with other members of the community who want to give me a hand up? 

When you own a home, YOU are your own landord!

How Do I Qualify?

Families in need of decent, affordable housing apply for homeownership with their local Habitat for Humanity. 

Each local Habitat for Humanity's Homeowner Selection Committee selects homeowners based on three criteria:

1. The applicant's level of need.

2. Their willingness to partner with Habitat.

3. Their ability to repay a mortgage through an affordable payment plan.


As part of their willingness to partner, Habitat's homebuyers invest hundreds of hours of their own labor, called sweat equity, working alongside volunteers and other Habitat homeowners.


Habitat for Humanity follows a nondiscriminatory policy of family selection. 

Neither race nor religion is a factor in choosing Habitat Homebuyers.

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

Habitat Homebuyers must be active participants in building a better home and future for themselves and their families. Every Habitat home is an investment.


Prospective Habitat homebuyers must demonstrate a need for safe, affordable housing. Once selected, Habitat homeowners must partner with us throughout the process. This partnership includes performing sweat equity, or helping to build their own home or the homes of others in our homeownership program. ​


  • Gross income of all household members, ages 18 and over, is between 30 - 80% of median income. 

  • Applicants must be US citizens or Permanent Residents

  • Applicants must live or work in Dodge, Olmsted, Steele, Wabasha, and Waseca County, or in a neighboring county not served by another Habitat affiliate 

  • Applicants can demonstrate a need for safe, decent and affordable housing

  • Applicants can demonstrate an ability to pay a monthly mortgage (including escrow for property taxes and homeowner insurance) as well as other household expenses without becoming cost burdened

  • Applicants agree to provide sweat equity hours in the construction of their home and participate in public relations appearances and related activities to promote the mission of Habitat for Humanity 

  • Applicants and household members, ages 18 and over, agree to submit to criminal background and sex offender registry studies

The Process

Application:  Interested individuals are required to complete and submit the Habitat Homeownership Program application forms and supporting documentation. This material will be reviewed by agency staff and the Homeowner Selection Committee.  If you meet the qualification criteria, you will be invited to continue on in the selection process. 

Family Interview:  An interview will be conducted by agency staff and members of the Homeowner Selection Committee.  This interview is to review your current housing situation, discuss your need for Habitat homeownership and review all the documentation provided through the application process.  We will also discuss the expectations of your willingness to partner, including sweat equity requirements.

Final Decision:  The Homeowner Selection Committee will review all the information gathered.  A recommendation will be forwarded to the Board of Directors for final approval of partnership for our home build.  Once chosen, the applicant will be notified and asked to complete a Homeowner Partnership Agreement outlining the partnership between the homebuyer and Two Rivers Habitat for Humanity.

Once a family is approved, you will:

  1. Attend homeowner education to learn and practice budgeting, home repair, and maintenance.

  2. Be required to provide "sweat equity."  Each adult (up to two) who plans to have their name on the mortgage and deed (that is, to be an owner of the home) is responsible for 200 hours of sweat equity.  Other adult family members (18 years and older) will contribute up to 50 hours each as well. The total sweat equity requirement per family will not exceed 500 hours.

  3. Need to save $2,000-$3,000 for closing costs (utility deposits, homeowner’s insurance premium, moving costs, and other expenses occurring at time of closing).

  4. Make prompt monthly house payments to Habitat (including mortgage principal, taxes, and insurance).  Since these house payments are used by Two Rivers Habitat for Humanity to build more houses with other families, homeowners MUST make these payments on time.

​Once begun, the application process takes between two and four months. Families not accepted may reapply for future homes.

Get More Informaion

Get more information.

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