What is Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity, and what do you do?
Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity is a homeownership program that builds and sells homes to hard-working families in need of decent and affordable housing. We are an independently funded affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. To learn more about our mission and history, click here.
Are Habitat Homes given away?
No. Our homes are built in partnership with low-income families. Partner families pay for closing costs and make affordable monthly mortgage payments. Partner families are required to invest 500 hours of sweat equity to meet the “Self-help” requirements of our program. These hours are made up of a minimum of 100 hours labor on construction sites (typically their own home), the balance can be made up with Homeowner education classes, working in the Store, and on any other Habitat projects.
What kind of homes do you build?
Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity builds single-family homes ranging from two to four bedrooms..
Where do you build homes?
We build in Yakima County
What is Habitat’s Tithe program?
Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity is blessed with the resources to have built over 190 homes in our local communities, and we want our international neighbors to have the same opportunity. Our affiliate tithes 10% of our unrestricted funds to help homeownership opportunities outside of the United States. Our tithes have provided more than 150 homes in countries like El Salvador, Colombia, and Nepal..
How can I volunteer with Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity?
There are a number of ways to get involved with Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity. Volunteers can work on construction sites, in our Habitat Store, or on special projects, events, our Board of Directors and Board Committees. For a comprehensive list of volunteer opportunities, please visit our Volunteer page.
Do you need previous construction experience to volunteer on a Habitat construction site?
No. Anyone who wants to help and is at least 16 years old is welcome on the construction site. Site supervisors will provide you with tools and equipment and teach you how to use them.
What days can I volunteer?
Volunteers can sign up to build Mondays through Thursdays year-round. Volunteers can work at the Habitat Store Mondays through Saturdays year-round.
Can groups of people volunteer?
Yes. Volunteer groups are made up of 4 to 6 people who want to volunteer at the same site on the same day. To learn more about group volunteer opportunities, please click here.
Can I fulfill court-ordered community service at Habitat?
As a non-profit servicing a vulnerable population, we have a point system to determine eligibility. To see if you meet our eligibility requirements please click here.
HomeBuild Program FAQ
What is the first step toward purchasing a habitat home?
If you are interested in the Habitat for Humanity HomeBuild program and have reviewed the requirements to see if you qualify, the next step is to submit a pre-application with all of the required documents.
Can anyone apply to be a Habitat homeowner?
A; Yes. Habitat follows a nondiscriminatory policy of homeowner selection.
How do I apply to the Habitat homeownership program?
Candidates for a Habitat home must meet and follow strict qualification guidelines. Community Orientation Meetings are held throughout the year to teach prospective homeowners about our program.
Visit our Yakima Valley Office to pick up an application or simply download the application and send it to our Home Services Director at Apply@Yakimahabitat.org All other inquires can be sent to HomeServicesDirector@Yakimahabitat.org
Click here to download the Home Build Program Application.
How can I qualify for a Habitat home?
Please reference the “Do I Qualify?” page to see specific requirements. But in short, Habitat homeowners must be active participants in building a better home and future for themselves and their families. Every Habitat home is an investment. For us, it is one answer to a critical need, and we believe that stronger homes will create stronger individuals and communities.
- Prospective Habitat homeowners must demonstrate a need for safe, affordable housing. Need will vary from community to community.
- Once selected, Habitat homeowners must demonstrate their willingness to partner throughout the process. This partnership includes performing “sweat equity,” or helping to build their own home or the homes of others in our homeownership program. Sweat equity can also include taking homeownership classes or performing volunteer work in a Habitat Store.
- Each family must have the ability to repay a mortgage by verifying that their annual income falls between thirty and eighty percent of the area median income for Yakima County which is determined by HUD’s income guidelines.
- *Mortgage payments are cycled back into the community to help build additional Habitat homes.*
How long does the application process take?
It typically takes around one year from the time of filling out an application to when a family moves into their Habitat home. For more information on the steps included in the application process, please click here.
*Due to unforeseen circumstances, the time from the application process to moving into a home varies depending on availability, community needs, and resources.
If pre-approved, how long will it take before I can purchase my habitat house?
Families are in the program until their house has been built; generally, 12 to 24 months. Ideally, construction of a partner family’s house begins within six months from the time of approval. Completion of the house will vary depending on each situation. The construction schedule and building requirements are complex and makes it difficult to predict the length of time form pre-approval in the program to purchasing a house.
What happens after I submit my application?
After you submit your application with all the required documents that apply to you, to our office. Once your application is considered complete, you will schedule an initial intake appointment with our current Home Services Director. At the time of this appointment, you will be required to pay a credit report fee of $23.30 and subject to an administration processing fee of $6. During this appointment, our Home Services Director will evaluate your need for affordable housing and an action plan will be made.
- Selection: Habitat schedules a home visit for all families that meet the partnership criteria and pre-qualification requirements. Our Homeowner Selection Committee then determines the partner families based on need and the number of houses Habitat plans to complete during the year.
- Partnership Phase: Because Habitat homes are built primarily by volunteers and the partner families, construction typically takes about six to nine months but can take longer. Habitat partner families engage in the home building process throughout this time frame.
Will a criminal background check and credit report be conducted?
Yes. Habitat does background checks on all household members over the age of 18. A criminal history does not automatically disqualify an applicant. Any issues that come up in a background check will be dealt with on an individual basis.
- However, any sex offender related offenses are an automatic disqualification
Who is considered a part of my household? How is my household size determined?
Only individuals who are currently living in the household can be considered when determining household size and the number of bedrooms the applicant qualifies for. A child is only considered in regards to household size if the applicant has at least 50% custody of that child. If a person is pregnant during the application process, the unborn child will be counted towards the household size. Please be sure to explain any household size situations in your application.
What is sweat equity?
Sweat equity is the time participants invest in earning the right to purchase their habitat house with an affordable mortgage. Participants can be the partnered family, community members, family, and friends. Following approval into the program, the applicant must complete a total of 500 hours of sweat equity hours. All sweat equity hours must be completed before pre-approved partners are able to purchase their house. The participant and their immediate household must complete a minimum of 175 hours sweat equity to maintain eligibility.
What kind of houses does Habitat build?
Habitat builds and sells simple, decent affordable houses that are two to four bedrooms, wood frame houses, with approximately 900 to 1500 square feet on single-family lots. An electric range, microwave, refrigerator, washer and dryer hookups, and a dishwasher.
Do applicants get to choose the location or design of the home?
The applicants do usually get to request a neighborhood of where they wish to be located but is not always granted. Habitat does not always have available lots where applicant’s wish to live. No, Habitat does not build custom houses. Habitat builds home based on each families’ needs. Habitat will choose the size of the house based on the family demographics.
What types of donations does Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity accept?
There are many ways you can donate and support Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity, including cash and in-kind donations. For a full list of ways you can donate, please visit our Ways to Donate page..
How do I make a cash donation?
Cash donations can be made online through our secure Donate Now form. You can also donate via check or Money Order payable to Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity, 21 W Mead Ave Ste 110, Yakima, WA 98902
How do I donate building materials or other items to Habitat?
We accept in-kind donations such as fixtures, furniture and building materials through our Habitat Store (home improvement outlets that raise money for Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity). You can drop off items at our Habitat Store during donation hours, call the pick-up service at (509)213-0187 and schedule a time and a date for us to pick up your donation or by clicking here to request a pickup appointment online..
How can I become a sponsor of Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity?
There are a variety of sponsorship opportunities for individuals or for congregations, organizations, or companies. Click here to learn more.
Habitat Store FAQ
What is the Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity’s Store?
Habitat Store is a nonprofit home improvement and donation center that sells new and gently used home and building materials to the Yakima County community at a fraction of the retail price. All profits from the Habitat Store goes towards supporting Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity’s mission of building decent, affordable housing in partnership with local hard-working, low-income families.
Where is the Habitat Store located?
Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity’s Store is located at 21 W Mead Ave Ste 104 in Yakima Washington.
Can I donate to the Habitat Store?
Yes. Our Store accepts in-kind donations, such as furniture, appliances, and building materials. You can drop off items at our location during donation hours, or call the pick-up service and schedule a time and a date for us to pick up your donation or you can also request a pick up service online by clicking here.
When can I shop at the Habitat Store?
Public shopping hours at the Store are Tuesday through Friday 9:30am to 6:00pm and Saturday’s 9:00am to 6:00pm.
When can I donate items to Habitat Store?
Donations are gracefully accepted Monday’s from 9:00am to 5:00pm and Tuesday through Saturday 9:00am to 6:00pm.