Become a Homeowner

How to Receive an Application

Volunteers proudly standing in front of home nearing completion

You can download the USDA pre-qualification application on our Info & Downloads page.

Please call us or stop in to discuss options and to get more information or ask questions. We know this can be a confusing and intimidating process, but we are here to help you through the entire process.

How Much Money is needed to afford a Habitat Home?

One of the most frequently asked questions of our affiliate by interested applicants is how much money the applicant should make to afford a Habitat home. The Family Selection committee looks at two factors:

  1. Our committee makes sure that no more than 25% of the applicant’s gross household income goes toward their Habitat mortgage. The average cost of a Habitat monthly mortgage is $900, which includes interest free principal, property taxes and homeowner insurance. The homeowner would be responsible for their electric, gas heat, phone, and water and sewer.
  2. The purpose of Habitat for Humanity is to provide affordable housing to qualified working families, and does not like to use the term “low income housing”. The program is a hand up and not a hand out. Our committee looks at the income requirement of 40% to 60% of the county median income of $59,336. This is a range between $23,734 and $35,601 and checks all their financial information to see if the applicant can afford living in a Habitat home.

Applicants are qualified via USDA guidelines.

What are the factors that your Family Selection Committee looks for?

Ability to Pay – This is determined by USDA guidelines.

Current Housing Need – If you do have the ability to pay, the committee will schedule a home visit and see the applicant’s current housing situation. The physical condition of the home and factors such as overcrowding situations, unhealthy living conditions, poor structure condition and/or unsafe neighborhood conditions are considered. The committee also considers housing situations that are in good and fair condition to see if the prospective applicant is paying a large portion of their monthly income towards their monthly rent setting up a financial poverty housing situation.

Willing to Partner – This part deals with the applicant’s ability to commit to the building of the home, completion of the required sweat equity, and your commitment to being a family partner ambassador to our Habitat program.

What is your sweat equity policy?

Our affiliate sweat equity policy is 225 hours per adult (18 and older) in the household. 50 hours can be donated through friends, families, co-workers. Sweat equity must be completed before settlement can take place.

Do I have to be a Salem County resident?

Salem County Habitat has a two year residency policy for anyone who applies for one of our homes. This policy is based on the fact that we only build homes in Salem County and most of our fund raising efforts are donated by county residents who want to improve their specific community. Anyone living outside Salem County interested in applying for a Habitat home is referred to either 1-800 HABITAT or for their nearest Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

For Further Information

For further questions not address above, please contact the Salem County Habitat office at (856) 299-7995.
⇒ Download USDA Loan Information / Applications.

Handyman Revitalization Program

Woman using tools to lay down new wood flooring

  • Is your home in desperate need of critical repairs?
  • Do you own your home?
  • Are you low-to-moderate income? (per USDA guidelines – contact us for additional details)
  • Is there ability to repay?

Those who may possibly qualify:  Veterans ♦ Senior ♦ Citizens Disabled

We offer home repair services to homeowners so they can continue to live in safe, decent homes for years to come. Some of our home repair work includes painting, landscaping, weatherization and minor repair services.

How does the program work?

  • Families partner with Habitat based on income, need and willingness to help.
  • We use volunteer labor and donated materials to keep costs low.
  • An affordable loan is made to the homeowner to cover the cost of the work.

Why do we offer these exterior maintenance services?

  • Families need to live in safe and well-maintained homes.
  • Neighborhoods become revitalized.
  • Community connections are made.
  • Affordable housing inventory is preserved.

For Further Information

For further information or questions, please contact the Salem County Habitat office at (856) 299-7995.
⇒ Download USDA Loan Information / Applications.

Group standing on new handicap ramp with woman in wheelchair cutting ribbonRamp Program

Habitat for Humanity provides affordable ramps to improve the quality of life and mobility of Salem residents. Volunteers generously give of their time to help local people create safer and easier access to their homes.

While volunteer labor to prepare and install the ramps is provided, the recipient is responsible for the cost of materials. Each ramp is customized to the location where it is installed, so the cost varies.

If you would like to request affordable ramp installation, please contact us at 856.299.7995.

How does the program work?

  • Habitat selects partner families based on income, need and willingness to partner.
  • Habitat affiliates use volunteer labor and donated materials to keep costs low and take no profit for their services.
  • A no-interest loan is made to the homeowner to cover the cost of the project. (Note that this is NOT a grant.) Payments are placed in a revolving fund to help A Brush with Kindness serve others in need.
  • This program would not be possible without the generosity of Valspar, the co-founder and underwriter of the A Brush with Kindness program.

Logo for the USDAUSDA Loans for Purchase and Repairs

Please follow this link to our DOWNLOADS section, where you will find the Loan Application documents, as well as the additional documents referenced in the letter below.


Thank you for your interest in the Direct Single Family Rural Housing loan program.  To determine if eligible for a higher determination and get started, please fully complete the pre-qualification package attached, sign the authorization(s) to enable us to order an In-file Credit Report for each applicant at no cost to you. Generally, we are able to respond within 3-5 business days based on staff availability.

  • Rural Housing Service Pre-Qualification Worksheet • Form RD 3550-1, Authorization to Release Information [signature only] print separate forms, as necessary for each adult household member (18 and older)

In addition, you will find basic information for this loan program in the following attachments:

  • Direct Section 502 SFH Frequently Asked Questions • New Jersey Area Loan Limits – Maximum Loan Amounts • 502 Program Description/Eligible Areas • Direct Loan Program Income Limits

For processing, please send by fax to: [855] 305-7400; Email to:  or mail to:

USDA, Rural Development Vineland Area Office 1318 S. Main Road, Building 5 – Suite A Vineland, NJ 08360

After receipt and review, we will promptly advise you of our preliminary findings within 3 to 5 business days in response to your original e-mail and/or phone call.  I am also adding a useful link to the eligibility area for potential properties that you may became interested along the process at

The pre-qualifying results can provide you an idea on basic qualifications for a reasonable loan amount for purchase through our Agency prior to forwarding funds necessary to order your official residential mortgage credit report and verifying all income sources.  However, the results of the pre-qualification are not binding, as they are not based on verified data.  You must submit an application in order for the Agency to arrive at a final eligibility decision.  If the prequalification process is favorable, a pre-printed application will be supplied to continue the process. 

The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract); because all or part of the applicant’s income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The federal agency that administers compliance with this law concerning this creditor is the Federal Trade Commission. If a person believes he or she was denied assistance in violation of this law, they should contact the Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. 20580.

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in real estate related transactions, or in the terms of conditions of such a transaction, because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. The federal agency that is responsible for enforcing this law is the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.   If a person believes that they have been discriminated against in violation of this law, they should contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Washington D.C. 20410 or call (800) 669-9777.

You may request an application for Rural Housing Service loans assistance at any time after the pre-qualification results. We look forward to assisting you. 

Thank you, Vineland Area Office  Rural Development United States Department of Agriculture Tel:  [856] 205-1225 x 4 | Fax: [855] 305-7400  | “Committed to the future of rural communities”