256-760-9515 info@shoalshabitat.org

Become a Homeowner

Simple, Decent, Affordable

Equal Housing Opportunity statement: 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 or national origin.


Shoals Habitat for Humanity makes homeownership possible for low-income households. We offer affordable mortgage loans to purchase homes built by Habitat.

Ready to Apply?

Print the Application Package.

Read and complete each form in the package. Follow the instructions from the ‘Document Checklist’ on Page 3.

When you have fully completed the application, mail your application package to:

Shoals Habitat for Humanity
ATTN: Homeowner Selection
PO Box 3135
Florence, AL 35630

Qualification Guidelines



You must have a need for adequate housing. Here are some examples of need:

  • Your housing expenses are more than 30% of your income.
  • Your house is in poor condition.
  • You are living with family or friends.
  • You live in Section 8 or Housing Authority housing.
  • Your house is overcrowded

Structural/mechanical problems in building

  • visible holes or large cracks
  • leaks, hazardous/toxic materials
  • electrical problems
  • plumbing problems
  • appliances not working

Inadequate sleeping arrangements

  • more than 2 persons share a room
  • different gendered children sharing a room
  • persons having to sleep on the floor

Unsanitary conditions or health risks

  • bugs
  • rodents
  • sewage problems
  • stairway in disrepair
  • allergy concerns

Temporary or transitional housing

  • family currently living with relatives
  • family in emergency shelter
  • homelessness

Willingness to Partner

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

“Sweat-equity” is when a partner family takes part in building their own home and other Habitat homes and may include activities such as clearing the lot, painting, helping with construction, working in the Habitat office, or other approved activities.

  • A two-adult household is required to perform a minimum of 400 hours.
  • A portion of the sweat equity hours can be completed by family and friends.
  • All of the hours must be completed before the partner family can purchase the home.

In addition, the partner family must also be willing to attend home buyer education classes.

Ability to Pay

Ability to pay is determined by information provided and collected during the application process.

Information on the paper application, pay stubs, benefit statements, previously filed federal tax returns, and credit reports are examples of the resources used to determine this ability.

Applicants must have:

  • a steady, reliable source of income and demonstrate financial responsibility.
  • the ability to pay a monthly house payment at approximately 25% of gross monthly income (taxes and insurance included).
  • the ability to pay projected monthly utilities (electric/gas & water/sewer).
  • NOT filed for bankruptcy within the past 2 years.
  • NO outstanding collections, liens or judgments that cannot reasonably be paid by the completion of the home build.


All applicants must provide documentation of residency and eligibility to work in the US. Anyone applying for a home with Shoals Habitat for Humanity should be a current resident of Lauderdale or Colbert County.

One of the following documents is accepted as proof of both residency and eligibility:

  • US Passport
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I-551)
  • Foreign Passport with temporary I-551 stamp or temporary I-551 printed notation on a machine-readable immigrant visa
  • Unexpired Employment Authorization Document with a Photo ID (Form I-766)
  • Unexpired Foreign Passport with Form I-94
  • Passport from Federated States of Micronesia or the Republic of the Marshall Islands with Form I-94 or Form I-94A indicating nonimmigrant admission under the Compact of Free Association Between the United States and the FSM or RMI.


If one of the above cannot be provided, one document from each category below is required:

Category 1

  • Driver’s License
  • Federal, State, or Local Government ID Card
  • Voter’s Registration Card
  • School ID card with a photograph
  • Native American tribal document
  • U.S. Military identification card/ Military Dependents ID card
  • U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card
  • Canadian Driver’s License

Category 2

  • Social Security Card
  • U.S. Birth Certificate
  • Certification of Birth Abroad (Form FS-545)
  • US Citizen ID Card (Form I-197)
  • Resident Citizen ID Card (Form I-179)
  • Unexpired Employment Authorization by Dept. of Homeland Security
  • Native American tribal document
  • Certification of Report of Birth (Form DS-1350)
  • Native American Tribal document
  • Employment Authorization document issued by the Dept. of Homeland Security


  • All family members’ income is included in the calculation of a family’s total gross income.
  • Applicants’ income is used to determine debt-to-income ratio and affordability.
  • Income from all wages, SSI, SSDI, housing assistance, retirement, alimony, VA benefits, child support, etc are included.
  • The guidelines are annual (to convert monthly income to annual divide amount by 12).
  • Income guidelines are listed by family size.