Partner with us for a place to call home.

Buyer Selection Criteria – King and Kittitas County

Homebuyers applying to Habitat for Humanity of Seattle-King County or Kittitas County must meet the following criteria:


Applicants must demonstrate a need for adequate and affordable housing:

  1. Applicant must not have owned a home for the past 3 years.
  2. ONE of the following must be true:
    • The applicant is “cost burdened” (spending more than 35% of their gross income for housing)
    • The applicant is living in substandard or overcrowded housing
    • The applicant is living in subsidized housing or a temporary housing, staying with family or friends, or living with a roommate

Ability to Pay

Applicants must demonstrate that they can afford the home’s mortgage payment without being cost burdened (defined as spending more than 30% of their gross income for housing). The following must also be true:

  • All other monthly debt obligations must not exceed 13% of an applicant’s monthly gross (pre-tax) income (includes proposed HOA/COA dues, installment loans, credit card debt, etc.)
  • Applicants must be clear of any liens and judgments. Any bankruptcies must be discharged at least 4 years ago
  • Applicant must have worked in the same occupation for one year or at least two years if self-employed
  • Applicants must show that they have at least 1% of the purchase price set aside at time of application

All applicants are screened for our Debt Barrier Removal Program which aims to remove debt as a barrier to homeownership for those who would otherwise qualify for a home.


Total household income must be 80% or less than the area median income (some areas require less than 60% or 50%). Note that unemployment income cannot be counted.

Household SizeKing CountyKittitas County
Maximum Income Chart


Applicant must meet the following residency requirements:

  1. Applicant must live or work in county they are applying
  2. Applicant must use the home as their primary residence

Willingness to Partner

Applicant must be willing to complete at least 150 hours of Sweat Equity per buyer. In some cases, more hours are required based on the funding source. Buyers will know their requirement when they are selected. Sweat Equity is Habitat’s term for the labor Habitat homebuyers put into building their Habitat home. Hours are completed by working on the construction sites, in the Habitat stores, through homeowner education classes, or by working in our office. We will accommodate individuals who are not physically able to work on the construction site on a case by case basis.

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