Become a Habitat Homeowner

Self-Help Homeownership Program
Self-Help Pre-Application
Fire Victims Pre-Application

To qualify for a Habitat home, you must be a legal resident, must be considered a “first-time home buyer,” and have lived in Lake County for at least one year, as well as meet the three (3) Basic Guidelines below. Military veterans are encouraged to apply.

  1. Need: Must be living in substandard housing, such as overcrowded, unsafe, or unhealthy conditions
  2. Ability to Pay: Have stable income and your total household income follows the general income guidelines below (Income guidelines are subject to change).
  3. Willing to Partner: Must be willing to put in a minimum number of 500 hours of “sweat equity” into your home and other Habitat houses.

Income Requirements for the Self-Help Homeownership Program

The figures below represent the range of gross household income required to qualify for this program.

Family Size Minimum Income Maximum Income

If you meet the above guidelines, please call the Habitat for Humanity Lake County office at 707.994.1100 for more details or come by our office for an application.

All Habitat for Humanity homes have zero interest mortgages.

Habitat for Humanity Lake County does not discriminate on race, religion, gender, handicap, familial status, or national origin in its homeowner selection process.

If you meet the above qualifications, you can download the Self-Help Pre-Application. If you are a victim of the 2015 fires, you must use the Fire Victims Pre-Application.  The form must be filled out completely and returned to our office by mail, email, or in person, and request an appointment with one of our Family Selection volunteers.  Appointments are normally available on Thursday afternoons between 2 and 4 p.m. To fill out the form, you must have Adobe Reader or another PDF editor. Email us at for more information.

PO Box 1830, Lower Lake, CA 95457
Office: 15312 Lakeshore Dr., Clearlake, CA 95422

Equal Housing Opportunity

20 thoughts on “Become a Habitat Homeowner

  1. I lost a second home in downtown Middletown. My lot is clear and has full utilities. I am old in my 70’s and have a good pension; not low income.

    I have about $50,000. to rebuild. Could Habitat volunteers construct a house for me for this amount? Used and donated materials would be fine. I would be more than willing to work everyday with them.


    • Because this property is a second home, while you are certainly encouraged to apply, the odds are a family in need of a first home would receive priority (the program is for 1st time home buyers or low income families who lost their primary residence in the fire.
      Once we have assisted all of the qualifying applicants who apply, we may branch out into additional construction for households willing to pay for construction, but at this time I could not speculate when that might occur or if it will for certain.

    • I have spoken with our director on the matter. He asked me to inquire about your income, and indicated that if you would like to come in and speak with him about the matter, he would be interested in talking to you.

      • Thanks for the reply Tammy. I am a pensioner but not a low-income pensioner under your guidelines. What we had in mind was construction of a home approximately 1000 sq ft on our lot which has full utilities on it. Used materials would be fine and don’t expect a perfect building . We can do the detailing ourselves. We were uninsured. We have a little over $50,000. in cash we coud pay for this if it could benift your organazation and us. Thank You, John Gerbich.

        • Hello John, You could contact Laurie in our Homeownership department to see if there might be some way in which we could work with you. call 707-994-1100 x103, explain your situation, and see what she can offer you.

  2. I was looking at the income guidelines, is 3 person household the minimum for persons in home? I just have myself and my 6 yeast old son.

    • We certainly can build for 1 and 2 individuals; most of our applicants start at families of 3, so that was where we started the figures on the application. For a family of 2, the minimum yearly income would be $23,200. If you meet that, or are close to that, please feel free to apply!

      • Thank you for the reply. I completely forgot to check for a reply here (thinking it would come via email or something) and then I was looking into this again after loosing my place in the Clayton Fire. As of right now I only have my son and me (I had my dad who is disabled living with me but he was just approved for an apartment). After reading your reply though, I am over the max. income for a 2 person home. Thank you anyway though. Everything seems to be either over the top expensive now especially after the fires and the need for homes or don’t qualify because Income. My son and his dad lost their home during Valley fire and then my son and I lost our home in the Clayton. I’m sorry to hear about your building on main, I hope that you guys have gotten back on your feet. This is an amazing program.

        • The current maximum is 37,700. If it just a little over that, you might still be able to qualify, because of being a fire victim. For more detailed information, you can call our office on Thursday after 11 and talk to Angela, who can answer all your questions better than I can. Our # is 994-1100.

  3. We are a family of 10 in a home that is literally falling apart and riddled with mold. My husband recently almost stepped through the floor, and now we have to keep or baby’s stroller over it so no one accidentally falls through the floor, and there are 5 or 6 other weak spots spread around the house. I work 3 jobs however my job that pulls in the most income is under the table. I think we qualify under all the requirements however my “cash” job is often not looked at as a justifiable income. We are very willing to put in work above and beyond what is asked. Just wondering based on our income if we should even apply. Oh and yes it would be our first home.

    • If you are referring to our Homeownership Program, as long as you meet the income guidelines and have lived in the county for at least a year, you should qualify. There are provisions that allow for those living in substandard, older trailers/manufactured homes, to qualify, so I would give it a shot.
      You can download the preapplication on the website, or pick one up from our office; then we will schedule a meeting with the Family Selection Group who can answer all of your questions.

  4. I have met the requirements with the exception of being single. I am retired Army vet. My property has been cleared and I am running through my income renting and paying fees to county as well property taxes. If you can help please write Mike ByBox, P.O. Box 1081, Cobb, Ca. 95426. 707-815-8208.

    • Hello Michael, We received the application last week and were working out an appointment schedule for you; due to the Clayton Fire we are momentarily without an office and all of the paperwork we received was lost. Bear with us as we sort out how to proceed and we will be in touch with you shortly.

    • It’s approximately $3000 difference for the income guidelines. If you are a fire victim, and if you have no significant debts, we may be able to work with you if your income falls below the normal minimum.
      You will have to bear with us as we get a new location up and running in order to answer more indepth questions.

  5. I lost my home in a seprate fire in upperlake in May of 2016.. I was wondering if i would fill out the fire victims application or a seprare application. .

    • Hello Justin, the fire applications are for victims of the Rocky, Valley, and Clayton fires. If you would like to apply, please use our normal application. If you wish to speak with someone in the homeownership department, please call Laurie at 994-1100×103

    • Income guidelines for a household of 1 are: Minimum–$20,300; Maximum is $33,000. Minimum numbers are slightly flexible, so if you close to that, call our Homeownership staff (office # extension 103) to speak to them directly with further questions.

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