Thank you for your interest in applying for home ownership through the St. Louis Art Place Initiative! Please be sure read all of the information below before filling out your pre-screening application.

FAQ

frequently asked questions

 

application process

What's the Full Application Process?

1. Applicants complete the online Pre-Screening Application by the deadline of February 15th, 2021. No preference will be given to any applications submitted by the deadline. Physical copies of the application can be provided upon request.

2. The Pre-Screening application will be reviewed and scored by a committee of representatives from St. Louis Art Place (API), DSCC, and HFH. The committee will then screen applications to build a lottery pool that reflects demographic diversity in accordance with the GJHNP.

3. The committee will screen applications to ensure a diversity of artistic mediums. The remaining applicants will advance to the Phase II application. The review committee will notify applicants regarding their status at this time.

4. The remaining applicants will work with HFH to compile the necessary documents for the Phase II mortgage application (listed below). HFH will use these documents to ensure an applicant’s financial eligibility and to provide pre-approval for the mortgage. Applicants will be notified of their eligibility.

5. All applicants that are pre-approved in the Phase II application will be put into the final lottery pool. If any applicants were deemed ineligible, the review committee will do a final check to ensure the lottery pool reflects the stated demographic and artistic diversity.

6. The review committee will select a pre-qualified applicant from the lottery pool at random. The winner will be notified and asked to accept the offer of a home. If the winner declines for any reason, the review committee will select another name at random until the home is selected. Each applicant remaining in the lottery pool will have the option to remain in consideration for future homes, at their discretion.

7. The lottery winner will work with HFH to compile all necessary information and documentation in preparation for closing on their home.

8. Approved applicants close on their homes!

How many homes are opened up for application at once? One, or multiple per phase?

As the construction of homes is completed, they will be available for purchase.

Each application round will be for a phase of completed homes. Houses in each phase will vary based on construction timelines, however, artists will apply for specific homes in that round.

Phase 1 will be for two houses, with the first being move-in ready in Spring 2021, and the second in Summer 2021.

Do artists apply for specific homes or apply based on specific parameters?

Each application phase will include site plans of the homes in that phase. If the homes in that phase do not fit an artist’s needs, it is recommended that they wait for a later phase to apply. Art Place homes will vary in size from 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom to 4 bedrooms, 2 bathroom homes. 

If I don’t get a house in the first round, can I apply again?

If an applicant reaches the lottery phase and does not get a chance to select a home (because the homes may have been selected prior to their turn), that artist will be automatically entered into the lottery for the next phase of homes. An artist can choose to decline being included in the next lottery. If an artist’s turn comes and they choose to defer to a later phase, their name will be entered into the first position of the subsequent lottery. If an artist is not selected to be entered into the lottery, or an artist has chosen to be removed from the lottery for any reason, that artist may keep applying for homes in subsequent phases.

applicant eligibility

Can more than one artist apply as co-applicants? How does that work?

  • My partner and I aren’t married. Can we still apply together?
  • Household income must be within the parameters laid out in the qualifications portion. 
  • The house will only be sold to the applicant(s) and stated family members. A family member or co-owner can only be added later if they fit the parameters of our deed restrictions and covenants. (DOES THIS WORK?!)

What defines an artist?

Based on input from a cohort of advising artists, dialogue with arts organizations across numerous sectors, and in accordance with the definition provided by the Gravois- Jefferson Historic Neighborhood Plan convened by DSCC, API uses the following definitions as a framework.

“An artist is any individual who identifies themselves as such, and has a commitment and/or participation in dedicated practice. The creation of art may be separate from said person’s source(s) of income.”

ST. LOUIS ART PLACE INITIATIVE DEFINITIONS OF ARTISTIC MEDIUMS

Fine Art: Including but not limited to painting, drawing, sculpture, book art, mixed-media, and print-making.

Performance Art: Including but not limited to singers, musicians, dancers, actors, and performance artists.

Functional Art: Including but not limited to jewelry, rugs, decorative screens and grates, furniture, pottery, toys, and quilts.

Imaginative Works: Including but not limited to film, video, digital media works, literature, costume design, photography, architecture, and music composition.

Cultural Practice: Including a designer, technician, tattoo artist, hairdresser, chef/culinary artist, craftsperson, teacher, or administrator who is dedicated to using their expertise within the community to support, promote, present, and/or teach and propagate their art form through events, activities, performances, and classes.

My income is made up of gigs and grants. Can I still apply?

Yes! API and our institutional partners at Habitat for Humanity will help artists create documentation to account for grants and gig work. It is important to begin this process early.

I am not a US citizen, can I still apply?

Yes, non-citizens are eligible to apply for API housing so long as their immigration status allows

financing

What are the income requirements to apply?

Income Guidelines for Habitat for Humanity Saint Louis Homeownership program:

 

Family Size

Minimum

Maximum

1

$15,785

$46,450

2

$18,040

$53,050

3

$20,295

$59,700

4

$22,550

$66,300

5

$24,365

$71,650

6

$26,180

$76,950

7

$27,995

$82,250

8

$29,810

$87,550

I have terrible credit. Can I still be considered?

Yes! API strives to accept non-traditional financial backgrounds where possible. Please see the document that refers to the underwriting guidelines that will be followed for this application.

How much customization can I do to the house once I purchase it?

Once the house is purchased, it’s all yours! We highly recommend you follow the law when modifying your home.

Will there be grants to help with the down payment?

Yes! API will provide subsidies for most of the closing costs. Applicants are only required to bring $1000 towards their down payment. Additionally, API has created a mortgage loan fund that will provide a uniform mortgage product at a 2.5% interest rate. Our goal is to keep closing costs to a minimum, and to keep mortgage payments (not including utilities, taxes, and insurance) below $700 per month. Taxes will be abated for each property for ten years at 95%.

housing facts

How many houses will be available?

There will be 20 individual homes available over the next 3 to 4 years.

Are we going to have stipulations/limitations around larger houses vs smaller houses (Single artists vs families)?

Yes! API strives to accept non-traditional financial backgrounds where possible. Please see the document that refers to the underwriting guidelines that will be followed for this application.

I need a studio to create my art in my home. Will there be houses that’s possible to do?

There will be flexible space in each home that can be used as studio space. However, we recognize that artists will be reflected across many mediums, and it would be impossible to tailor houses to specific needs.

I would need a house that is at least 4 bedrooms. Will there be houses like that available?

Yes! API homes will range from 2 bedrooms + 1 bathroom to 4 bedrooms + 2 bathrooms. Homes will range roughly 1200 sq ft to 1500 sq ft. Larger homes will be available in later phases.