Our Programs

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#1 – Become a Homeowner

How to Receive an Application

Smiling group in front of new home
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, 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 and checks all their financial information to see if the applicant can afford living in a Habitat home.

Applicants are qualified via USDA guidelines.

Criteria for Homeownership: How We Select Homeowners

  1. Ability to Pay – The 2016 Median Income for Salem County, NJ, is $78,300 (as of 2022). Therefore, the following are the income guidelines for Family Selection: at 40 percent the minimum income is $31,321 at 60 percent the maximum income is $46,980.
  2. Need – A home visitation is conducted to determine current home condition and amount of rent paid each month.
  3. Willingness to Partner – Each adult in the family commits to completing 225 sweat equity hours while the house is being constructed. Fifty of these hours can be donated for each adult in the family. Settlement cannot be held until sweat equity hours are completed.
  4.  Partner family receives a zero percent interest mortgage for 20 years or 30 year zero equivalent mortgage from the USDA.

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 www.habitat.org for their nearest Habitat for Humanity affiliate.

For Further Information

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

#2 – 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.

How the Program is Financed

The Habitat Handyman Program is made possible by a $100,000 grant from Salem Health and Wellness Foundation in 2016 and another $100,000 in 2017. $50,000 was also received in September 2018 to purchase 10 metal ramps for our Recyclable Ramp Program.

#3 – Metal Ramp Program

A metal wheelchair ramp on yardWheelchair ramps can transform the lives of senior citizens and less able homeowners!

Ramps are LEASED for a nominal fee, currently $150 per year.

Wood ramps cost an average of $3,000 in materials alone. The metal ramps we now lease can be removed and reused, making them a very cost effective alternative to wood ramps built from scratch. Wood ramps cannot be removed and reused in the same way as metal, and without regular maintenance, the elements eventually take a toll on even weather treated lumber.

If you are in need of a ramp call Resources for Independent Living at 856-678-9400.

Prior to receiving a ramp, a “Hold Harmless” / Billing Agreement must be signed.

DOWNLOAD AGREEMENT

#4 – USDA Loans for Purchase and Repairs

Logo for the USDAPlease 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.

USDA COVER LETTER FOR PURCHASES & REPAIRS

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.

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
http://www.rd.usda.gov  | “Committed to the future of rural communities”