Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity is now accepting applications for first-time homebuyers interested in building their own brand new home in 2022. Habitat will begin construction of these new, affordable homes in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood beginning in March. First-time buyers can build a 3-4 bedroom home for an average mortgage payment of $600-$800 per month.
Milwaukee Habitat’s affordable homeownership program provides an alternative to the skyrocketing cost of housing in the city. While the average cost to rent in Milwaukee is more than $900 per month, the average cost to own is more than $1600 per month. Due to this high cost of housing, the majority of Milwaukee Habitat homeowners spend less on their mortgage for a brand new Habitat home than they had been paying to rent.
In the U.S. the most common barriers to homeownership are large down payments, the rising cost of housing, and the denial of affordable loans. In the City of Milwaukee alone, 1 in 3 renters are spending half or more of their income on housing. This can make it extremely difficult for a family earning $35k per year ($16/hour) to save for a down payment or qualify for an affordable home loan.
Through Milwaukee Habitat’s affordable homeownership program, little to no down payment is required, closing costs are low, and the home loan will not exceed 30% of a family’s income – widely recognized as the threshold for affordable housing.
Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers. Home maintenance and financial education courses are also included as part of the program to help first-time buyers transition from renting to ownership. The first step towards owning one of Milwaukee Habitat’s new homes is to view a free, no-obligation virtual homeowner orientation. Register and watch the orientation online here. The orientation will cover the requirements, benefits and other details about Milwaukee Habitat’s affordable homeownership program. Following the orientation, interested applicants are encouraged to complete the application (available on the website) and send it back promptly with all required documents to be considered. Homes are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.