How You Can Become a Habitat Homeowner

Phase One

Each applicant must meet the following requirements in order to receive a pre-screen application:

  • You must be a resident of Camden County before being considered for a home.
  • You must currently live in substandard housing (leaky roof, bad plumbing, overcrowding, etc.).
  • You must have a form of steady income.  Unacceptable Income includes unemployment benefits, food stamps, any temporary state assistance, any temporary employment income, child support, or SSI for dependents.
  • You must be within the income guidelines listed in the chart below (or close).
  • You, the applicant(s), must be willing and able to partner with Lake of the Ozarks Habitat for Humanity and perform 150 hours of sweat equity for the first adult and 100 hours for each person over 18 in the household, as well as attend ALL classes and workshops scheduled before, during, and after homeownership has been achieved.
  • You must be able to make a $1,500 down payment before the closing on the home.

If you meet these guidelines, please call our office at 573-317-0470 to obtain a pre-screen application.

Phase Two

Once your pre-screen application is approved, you will need to attend our informational seminar held in the Spring and/or Fall.   At this meeting you will obtain more detailed information about the homeownership program, future build sites, and house design, as well as expectations and requirements. Please note there are NO exceptions for missing this informational seminar.  If you cannot attend, you will have to wait until the next seminar.

The application process has several areas of focus:

  • Credit history
  • Employment history
  • Landlord/Rental history
  • Criminal background check (every household member over 18 years of age)
  • Current household expenses
  • Willingness to partner
  • Ability to maintain 20+ year mortgage

All applications will be reviewed by the Family Selection Committee.  All information will be verified, background checks will be made and home visits will be made for all the applicants who qualify for a home.  One family will be selected from these applicants to receive the next  Habitat home.  All other applicants are encouraged to reapply the following year.

Phase Three

Receiving preliminary approval does not guarantee you a home; there are additional steps that must be followed:

  • Sign and return preliminary approval letter
  • Complete 25 hours of sweat equity before construction can begin.  These hours can be completed in the ReStore
  • Make $50 a month payments on the down payment for four months prior to the start of construction
  • Make a budget and meet with Family Support to show your ability to pay for the home.

If you have any questions, please contact the Lake of the Ozarks Habitat for Humanity office at 573-317-0470 or email questions to


Your gross household income must generally fall between 25% and 60% of the Median Family Income for Camden County according to H.U.D.  Please contact us for this year’s income figures.

Note: Use gross household income to determine total family income. (Gross income is your income before taxes have been taken out.)