Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville (HabiJax), one of Florida’s largest nonprofit homebuilders, is teaming up with Community First Credit Union, one of Florida’s largest credit unions, to assist low-to-moderate income households in purchasing new, affordable homes. Community First has committed $2 million in mortgage funding for HabiJax homebuyers for the inaugural year of the new partnership (2024).

“HabiJax has spent over 35 years building quality homes that remain affordable for thousands of Jacksonville families,” said Monte Walker, President and CEO of HabiJax. “This partnership with Community First helps us empower even more local families to build better futures by achieving the dream of homeownership.”

HabiJax Receives $2 Million Commitment From Community First With New Partnership

The Community First sponsored mortgages will come with interest rates significantly below market rates, making each monthly payment more affordable to the homebuyers. Furthermore, HabiJax pays the closing costs on each new home sold and there are no real estate commissions. HabiJax homebuyers pay only a 1% down payment and contribute “sweat equity” by serving as volunteers in helping build homes and working in the HabiJax ReStore, a home improvement retail outlet on Beach Boulevard.

“First Coast families who have been preparing for homeownership face unprecedented challenges with record-high home prices and interest rates that have doubled in the last year,” said Ryan Olson, chief lending officer at Community First. “Safe, stable, quality housing is foundational to the health and wellbeing of our community. Through this partnership, we intend to bring homeownership back into reach for many.”

HabiJax aims to build 43 homes this year, making it one of the top-producing Habitat affiliates in the country. Community First Credit Union’s funding commitment provides a tremendous boost to the efforts of HabiJax volunteers and generous giving from sponsors and donors. Community First employees will also become some of HabiJax’s newest and most enthusiastic volunteers this spring, helping build several of these homes alongside their future owners.

Jacksonville residents interested in homeownership through HabiJax should visit www.habijax.org/own to review the program guidelines, take a short eligibility quiz, and participate in an upcoming information session.

About HabiJax

Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville, also known as HabiJax, is the largest not-for-profit builder of affordable housing in Northeast Florida. Over the past 35 years, HabiJax has been recognized as one of the most successful Habitat for Humanity affiliates in the United States, providing homeownership opportunities to more than 2,300 families. Guided by a vision of a Northeast Florida region where everyone has the opportunity to own a quality, affordable home, HabiJax brings people together to empower families in building better futures through homeownership.

About Community First

Community First Credit Union of Florida, named Florida’s 2022 Credit Union of the Year by the LSCU, is a state-chartered credit union based in Jacksonville serving anyone who lives or works on the First Coast. Community First is one of the largest credit unions in Florida with $2.8 billion in assets and serving 173,000 members. Community First has 21 locations and more than 450 employees. A not-for-profit, Community First is a full-service financial institution offering banking, loans, mortgages and investments for consumers and businesses across the First Coast.