Homeowner Criteria

Providing Greater Toronto Area families a hand up, not a hand out, through affordable homeownership.


A non-profit homebuilder, Habitat for Humanity GTA partners with low-income families, who cannot afford a conventional mortgage, to build and buy simple, decent quality, affordable homes through a no-interest, no-down payment mortgage. With monthly payments set at no more than 30% of total family income, the Habitat homeownership solution not only helps to provide affordable housing for families in need, it enables low-income families to build assets, reduce their dependence on other forms of social assistance and break the cycle of poverty.


On April 1, 2014, the Habitat for Humanity affiliates of Brampton Caledon, Toronto and York Region legally amalgamated into one new affiliate serving two-thirds of the GTA.  Families must currently be living or working for a minimum of one (1) year in the specific region in which they wish to apply.


Do you qualify for a Habitat home? Click Here to find out


Families who will occupy and own a Habitat GTA home are part of a complex selection process.  We select eligible families based on three specific criteria:

  • Need for affordable housing
  • Ability to pay a Habitat mortgage
  • Willingness to partner with Habitat


Need for Affordable Housing

Habitat GTA homeowners are selected, in large part, based on their level of need.  Families will be considered for a Habitat home if their present housing is not adequate and if they are unable to afford adequate housing through other conventional means.

Factors for consideration:

  • Families must currently be living or working for a minimum of one (1) year in the specific region in which they wish to apply
  • Current living conditions are overcrowded, unsafe or unhealthy (e.g. inadequate structure, unsafe wiring, heating, water, poor sanitation, etc.)
  • Housing costs are too high (i.e. basic shelter costs are more than 30% of total family income)
  • Barriers exist for physically challenged family members
  • Each family member is either a Canadian Citizen or a permanent resident of Canada  



Ability to Pay a Habitat Mortgage

Habitat GTA does not give homes away for free.  Families must have a reliable source of income and demonstrate their ability to pay a fair market value mortgage back to Habitat over a twenty (20) year period.  All mortgages are held by Habitat GTA and have 0% interest and require no down-payment. 

Factors for consideration:

  • What is your family's Gross Annual Household Income?  In order to determine your family’s gross annual income please calculate the following:  

    Applicant 1 Notice of Assessment + Applicant 2 Notice of Assessment (if applicable) + Canada Child Tax Benefit (annual entitlement). 

  • Total family income must not exceed the affordability income ranges identified for each new build project.  Our numbers are based on family size. Our current range is:


    Family Size                   Minimum Income           Maximum Income

    3                                    $38,500                             $44,900


    4                                    $39,900                             $53,400


    5                                    $43,300                              $59,900


    6                                    $46,800                              $66,900


    7                                    $50,200                              $73,900



  • Applicants will be asked to submit a current credit reference check that shows a good credit history as well as other required documentation from employers, landlords, banks and credit lenders to confirm reliability of income
  • Employment Insurance (EI) or Ontario Works (OW) are not acceptable sources of income
  • Applicants must not have large debt


Willingness to Partner with Habitat

Each family selected for homeownership with Habitat GTA is called a ‘Partner Family’. Partner Families are considered our greatest Ambassadors and as such are asked to help us with a variety of initiatives that advance our mission. 

Partnership requirements:

  • Each Partner Family is asked to contribute a minimum of 500 hours of volunteer “sweat equity” towards the construction of their own home or a variety of other Habitat projects
  • All adult members of the household will be required to submit a criminal reference check prior to acceptance into the program
  • Be willing to help Habitat publically spread the word about Habitat
  • Be willing to learn about the responsibilities of homeownership by attending a variety of Homeowner Education workshops
  • Be a good steward of the home and an upstanding representative for Habitat GTA