The Process & Family Services
Family Services works directly with prospective and current Habitat for Humanity of Montgomery County homeowners from the time of their very first inquiries, through all fourteen steps of our process, to handing them the keys to their very own homes and beyond. We want to work with you!
Family Services functions in two main capacities: family selection and family partnership.
Family selection concentrates on exactly what the name suggests: finding and selecting well-qualified, responsible families (who have legitimate housing needs) to pair with HFHMC's next available properties. Our selection process involves multiple steps and varying levels of screening before even formally "applying" with us:
- Step One: Homeownership Orientation - This is where anyone interested in our program must start!
- Step Two: Preliminary Screening (conducted at the homeownership orientation)
- Step Three: Credit Counseling and Money-Management Education (with Clarifi or MMI)
- Step Four: Primary Financial Screening and Personal Interview (with HFHMC)
- Step Five: Home Visit (by HFHMC team)
- Step Six: Formal Mortgage Application (to HFHMC's board of directors via family selection) - THIS is when applicants formally "apply" for a home and to become Habitat homeowners.
Both paid and volunteer staff assist prospective partner families throughout each of the family-selection steps above, which can take weeks, if not months, to complete. Please see Qualifying for a Home for details.
Family partnership focuses on helping approved families navigate the remaining steps of our homeownership process and equipping them to be successful as homeowners. Once HFHMC's board of directors approves a formal application, the applying household becomes a "partner family" and is assigned a Habitat coach, usually a volunteer staff member, who guides them through this extremely important, second phase of our program, including:
- Step Seven: Phase 1 of Sweat Equity (first 25 hours)
- Step Eight: Property Offer (by Board of Directors to Partner Family)
- Step Nine: Phase 2 of Sweat Equity (25-200 hours)
- Step Ten: Cornerstone Educational Workshops
- Step Eleven: Pre-purchase Prep
- Step Twelve: Re-qualification and Final Financial Verification
- Step Thirteen: House Dedication (public event)
- Step Fourteen: Settlement/Closing (buying the home)
HFHMC's coaches come alongside their families and guide them through each of the family-partnership steps. Staying on top of sweat-equity hours can be daunting, and making settlement on your home can be exciting, yet scary; it is our goal to partner with you through each milestone and help you succeed!
Habitat Homeownership & Family Partnership
Once a partner family purchases its home from us, that family becomes a Habitat homeowner, but HFHMC's family partnership doesn't have to end at the settlement table! Should you desire, our family coaches are willing to be there to support you as you adjust to your new role as a property owner and its inherent learning curve and responsibilities – in essence, as you transition from a landlord/tenant mentality to independent homeowner mentality – for at least one year post-settlement. Additionally, occasional educational workshops, homeowner social events, and even a periodic newsletter with tips, helps and homeowner highlights will be at your disposal when available!