Become a Homeowner

The Grande Ronde Valley Habitat for Humanity builds homes in partnership with people. Applicants must invest 500 hours of “sweat equity” into building their home. The homes are then sold at no profit, through a no-interest loan. Each homeowner’s monthly mortgage payment goes into a revolving fund that is used to build more Habitat homes in Union County.. You can contact the office at 541-963-4794 or through the ReStore at 541-963-2414 for more information.

Criteria for Selection as a Candidate Family

The Grande Ronde Valley Habitat for Humanity has the following three criteria for becoming a homeowner:

  1. Need for Adequate Shelter
    Applicants must demonstrate a need for adequate shelter.
  2. Ability to Pay
    Applicants need to have the resources to pay a low, monthly mortgage.
  3. Willingness to Partner
    Applicants need to be willing to consent to a criminal background check, commit to the sweat equity requirement of 500 hours, and be part of the Habitat family.



Things to keep in mind when applying for a home:

Income Level & Credit History

The income level that qualifies you for a Habitat home is between 30% and 60% of the current median income level in Union County. Your total family income is what we use to determine your eligibility. This should be a steady source of income, so that you will be able to afford monthly mortgage payments on a house. Your credit history will be investigated.

Sweat Equity

You and your family must be willing to put in 500 hours of unpaid volunteer work for various Grande Ronde Valley Habitat for Humanity projects. This is known as sweat equity and is required of all Habitat families. Once you are accepted as a Habitat family, you may be helping to build houses other than your own. If you have physical limitations that would keep you from swinging a hammer or performing other manual labor, you can help with office work, volunteer coordination and newsletter mailings. Your willing participation in these projects not only helps with the work of Grande Ronde Valley Habitat for Humanity, but also shows your sincerity and commitment to the partnership.

Housing Condition

Is your current home or apartment inadequate? Are you sharing a home with another family? Is it structurally unsafe? Is there poor or no insulation? Is it unheated or inadequately heated in the winter? Is it too small for your family?


Are you prepared to wait as long as two years for your home to be built?The  Grande Ronde Valley Habitat for Humanity is not an emergency housing program, or a quick fix to your current housing situation. Our goal is to build communities as well as homes, and this process takes time. We are trying to provide a permanent solution.


You must be willing to accept a home in any area of Union County. Grande Ronde Valley Habitat for Humanity cannot guarantee that the home you are offered will be located or built in any given part of the county.

Home Assignment & Acceptance

You must be willing to accept the home that is assigned to your family. This decision is made based upon the size and needs of your family. Habitat for Humanity homes are basic, decent homes and do not have formal dining rooms, wood stoves, fireplaces, or decks. In most cases, there will be only one bathroom.

Closing Costs & Monthly House Payments

Once accepted as a candidate family, you must begin saving money each month to pay the closing costs on your Habitat home mortgage. This money must be paid before you can move into your home. The average closing cost for one of our homes is $1500, but since you will have up to two years to save, a small amount each month will get you to this goal. You must also agree to make regular monthly house payments. It is important that these payments are made on time because your mortgage payments go toward building the home for the next family on the list.

Public Relations

The Grande Ronde Valley Habitat for Humanity relies upon the goodwill of the Union County and Northeast Oregon Community. Donations and volunteer labor by individuals and groups are our primary sources of support. For public relations purposes, you and your family may be asked to pose for photos or be interviewed by news or television reporters. More importantly, as a Habitat family, you must be willing to keep up your Habitat home in a manner that speaks well of the organization. This means that you are expected to keep your home and lot in good order and not engage in any activities that are disruptive to the community or are in any way illegal.