Harrisburg Habitat partners with local families in need to provide decent, affordable home ownership opportunities. The home buyers contribute over 75 hours of sweat equity into the building of their homes. After the owner has completed the necessary steps, the home will be sold to the family with affordable monthly mortgage payments.

Please note that Habitat builds are dependent on funding and land development opportunities and we are unable to accommodate requests to build in specific areas.*

Habitat homeownership may be right for you if you are ready to do the following:

  • Invest 75-150 sweat equity hours into your Habitat home as well as other Habitat homes.
  • Partner with Habitat through the entirety of your home build.
  • Commit to a 20-30-year legal obligation for a mortgage.
  • Make on time monthly payments towards your mortgage.
  • Handle other legal responsibilities involved with owning the home, such as paying insurance and real estate taxes.
  • Pay for all utilities including; electricity, gas, water & sewer and any other services.
  • Assume responsibility for repair work on your home to prevent future problems.

If you said yes to all of the items above, then you are ready for the cost and excitement that come with home ownership, then you may be ready for a Habitat Home!


Ability to Pay Criteria:

  • Must have a sustainable income. The income may include:
    • Earned wages, SSI, disability, retirement or pension
  • Must have a consistent history of rental payments.
  • Low debt to income ratio.
  • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • Must live or work in the Dauphin County.

Need for Housing Criteria:

  • Paying more than 30% of income for housing expenses.
  • Overcrowded living conditions.
  • Substandard living conditions:
    • Poor physical condition of home
    • Absentee landlord
  • Unsafe environment.

Willingness to Partner Criteria:

  • Must return application complete and on time.
  • Must return phone calls promptly and have constant communication with the Habitat office.
  • Must complete 75-150 hours of Sweat Equity.
  • Must attend a homeowners workshop.
  • Applicant is not found as a listed sex or violent offender on the PA State Police Website.

Questions & Answers

A: No. All the income from household members needs to be reported and accounted for, but they do not need to be on the mortgage. The only person that needs to be on the mortgage is a legal spouse.

A: Yes. Applicants must have been a resident or employed within our service area for at least 6 months at the time of application. Residency must be verifiable (P.O Boxes are not acceptable) through utility bills, lease history, or other means determined by the Family Services department.

A: The enrollment period will close 30 days after the last workshop. For example, the last workshop this year is October 22, so enrollment will end, and all application must be submitted no later than November 22.

A: No. Though Habitat does not participate in Section 8, your current or past participation does not disqualify you from participation in our homeownership program.

A: Yes! Friends and family can contribute up to 40% of the required sweat equity hours.

A: No construction experience is required. You will be able to work on the job site in a capacity that compliments any physical limitations or restrictions you might have. Sweat equity hours can also be earned by volunteering at the Habitat office, ReStore, or participating in speaking engagements and helping with mailers.

A: The sweat equity hours must be completed prior to the settlement date of the house. On average they are completed in about 6 months or so.

A: If you are accepted into the program and reject the available house/location you will then be offered the next available house/location. If you reject the second offered house/location, you will then be removed from the program.

We have received an overwhelming response for our Homeownership Workshops beginning in June! If you would like to sign up to learn about how to become a Habitat for Humanity Homeowner, please click the link below to complete our inquiry form, and we will contact you via email when workshops are open again.

Homeownership Inquiry Form

Equal Housing Opportunity:

We are Pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or an other basis as required by law.

If you have additional questions regarding Habitat homeownership, please contact our Family Services Coordinator at (717)545-7299 x202 or rbannister@harrisburghabitat.org