Applying for a House

Each local Habitat branch (affiliate) coordinates all aspects of home building in its local area, including partner family selection.

Below are some general guidelines that are used in family selection. Criteria may vary between affiliates.

Initial Selection Criteria

In order to qualify you must not be eligible for a commercial house loan and you must have a housing need in one or more of these areas

  • House too small
  • Not enough bedrooms
  • Dampness
  • Unsafe
  • Your rent is unaffordable
  • You must have permanent residency in New Zealand. Affiliates usually also require that you have lived in the area for a specified period of time before they will consider your application.
  • You must not have owned a house before (some exclusions may apply).
  • You must be willing to join in training programmes for budget advice and home maintenance.
  • You must work a minimum 500 hours of 'Sweat Equity' per family on your home and the homes of others.
  • Selected families will be required to pay a tenancy bond  of four weeks rent before moving into the house.
  • We will verify employment/benefits, bank accounts; current and previous landlords and we may do credit and police checks. We will also require two character references, an independent budget assessment and a list of all money currently owed by the family.


You can expect Habitat to...

  • Treat each inquiry with respect and sincerity.
  • Be completely non-discriminatory in its selection.
  • Build/renovate a simple, decent house for the successful applicants.
  • Involve the partner family in the building process.
  • Keep all information about the family confidential.
  • Provide ongoing support.

We expect Partner Families to...

  • Understand that Habitat for Humanity is not able to provide housing for all applicants.
  • Understand that the volunteers are working in their free time and are not being paid.
  • Commit to the application-to-dedication period, which may extend beyond a year.
  • Partner with Habitat throughout the repayment period. *
  • Attend training sessions on such subjects as house maintenance and budget advice. *
  • Abide by all requirements outlined in documentation provided to the family. *
  • Complete the required ‘Sweat Equity’ hours. *
  • Pay a tenancy bond of four weeks rent before shifting into the finished house.*
*Applies to successful applicants only
To download a brochure on this information,  click here