Become A Homeowner

Are you interested in owning a safe, decent, and affordable home?

Habitat McLean County partners with homeowners to provide simple, decent, affordable housing. To qualify, families must have a demonstrated need, must be willing to put in sweat equity, and must be able to take on a mortgage payment. An overview of the qualifications is below.

For information on how to submit an application to become a Habitat partner family, please contact Family Services Manager Holly Keller. Email Holly or call her at 309-827-3931.


Read bios of our current partner families here.


Qualifications Overview

  1. Are you unable to obtain a conventional home loan?

  2. Have you been a McLean County resident for at least one (1) year?
    Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. All applicants must provide valid and official documentation of residency in the U.S. The following documents are considered acceptable proof:

    1. U.S. Passport

    2. Permanent Resident Card

    3. Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)

    4. Certificate of U.S. Citizenship

    5. Or, two U.S. State Documents, such as U.S. Driver’s License and certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate

  3. Do you have a housing need?

  4. Are you able to make monthly mortgage payments, including insurance and taxes (ability to pay)?

  5. Are you willing to partner with us to help build your new home?

  6. Do you meet the income limits listed in the Income Eligibility Section below?

    1. Total gross income includes each adult living in the household.

    2. Income should be calculated from all documented wages, SSI, SSDI, retirement, alimony, VA benefits, and child support

Income Eligibility

Total gross income includes each adult living in the household. Income should be calculated from all documented wages, SSI, SSDI, retirement, alimony, VA benefits, and child support.

Family Size HFHMC Annual Income Maximum HFHMC Monthly Income Maximum
1 $43,763 $3,647
2 $50,025 $4,169
3 $56,288 $4,691
4 $62,513 $5,209
5 $67,538 $5,628
6 $72,525 $6,044
7 $77,550 $6,463
8 $82,538 $6,878


*Income levels are set annually by US Department of Housing & Urban Development.

**All income calculated as gross income



Housing Need

There must be a demonstrated need in order to qualify for a Habitat home.

To apply for a Habitat home, one must not be able to qualify for a traditional home loan and must also demonstrate a housing need (see examples below). If qualified financially, applicant will receive a home visit to further evaluate his/her housing need. Applicant must be a McLean County resident for one (1) year prior to applying. 

Some examples of a housing need are outlined below (this list is not all-inclusive):

Structural/Mechanical Problems in Building 

  • Visible holes or cracks

  • Leaks, hazardous/toxic materials

  • Electrical problems

  • Plumbing problems

  • Non-working appliances  

Overcrowded Conditions

  • Inadequate sleeping arrangements

  • More than 2 persons share a room

  • Different gendered children share a room

  • Persons having to sleep on the floor

Unsafe Environments

  • Bugs

  • Rodents

  • Sewage problems

  • Stairway in disrepair

  • Allergy concerns

  • High-crime area

Temporary or Transitional Housing

  • Family currently living with relatives

  • Family in emergency shelter

  • Homelessness

Ability to Pay

Ability to pay is determined by our Staff & Board of Directors, based on information provided and collected during the application process.


  • Have a steady, reliable source of income

  • Demonstrate financial responsibility with at least six (6) months of history for current employment or income sources

  • Be able to pay a monthly house payment at less than 31% of gross monthly income

    • approximate monthly payment is currently $650 (taxes and insurance included)

  • Be able to pay projected monthly utilities (electric/gas and water/sewer)

  • Not be involved in active bankruptcies. All bankruptcies must have been discharged for at least twelve (12) months prior to the date of application with Habitat.

While Habitat does not have a credit score requirement, we consider recent history of payments on rent, utilities, loans and other expenses. Additionally, the amount of monthly loan payments, including estimates for deferred student loans, is considered. Applicants must be able to save a minimum of approximately $900 for closing costs and resolve negative accounts on their credit reports. 


For more details regarding any of this information, please contact Holly, Family Services Manager, at 309-827-3931 or

Willingness to Partner

A partner family must be willing to complete "sweat-equity" hours.

Habitat requires that a partner family take part in building their own home and other Habitat homes. "Sweat-equity" hours may include activities such as clearing Habitat lots, painting, helping with construction, working at the Habitat ReStore, or other approved activities.

  • A single-adult family is required to complete 250 hours.

  • A two-adult household is required to perform a minimum of 500 hours.

  • In addition, any children, age 18 or above, who will live in the completed house are required to perform a minimum of 75 hours each.

  • A portion of the sweat equity hours can be completed by family and friends.

  • All of the hours must be completed prior to the partner family moving into the house.

‚ÄčIn addition, the partner family must attend homeowner support workshops throughout the building process.