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Impact Stories

 

Wanda, Future Habitat Homeowner, Princeton

Wanda, a single mom of two adult sons, has been living in Camden for many years. The Brooklyn native works for the NJ Turnpike Authority and travels around the state for her job. As she explored different regions of New Jersey over the years, Wanda had always dreamed of having a home in a neighborhood where her family felt safe to come visit.

Wanda’s dreams came true when she was approved to purchase a duplex in Princeton, NJ, through our Affordable Homeownership Program. Never did she believe she’d be able to afford her own home in Princeton! Her two bedroom unit will be perfect to host gatherings with her sons, who have begun families of their own. She’s most excited about having a front porch to relax and enjoy getting to know the neighbors.

 

Walter, Habitat Repairs Recipient, Mt. Holly

Walter, a disabled, 72-year-old Vietnam War veteran, was left in the cold when he discovered his boiler was broken last winter. With a fixed income of $1356 a month, he couldn’t afford to replace it.

Walter and his black lab, Scout, spent the coldest months of the year huddled around an old electric space heater in the house he paid off after 30 years. He searched for assistance programs that still had funding, but was coming up short. Finally, Walter contacted Congressman Andy Kim, who turned him toward Habitat BMC.

Through Habitat’s Critical Home Repair Program, Walter now has a new heating system and will enjoy watching the snow fall from his favorite chair in his cozy house.

 

Erika, Habitat Homeowner, Evesham

Erika and her three school-aged children were living in an overcrowded, unsafe neighborhood when she heard about Habitat’s affordable homeownership program through her daughter’s school.

Though working full time as a patient care technician, Erica knew she could find time to complete the 250 sweat equity hours required. She was determined to put in the work in order to purchase the beautiful four bedroom house that Habitat was building in Evesham.

The family closed on their home just in time for her oldest daughter, who serves in the military, to spend the holidays together.

 

Adbul and Salima, Habitat Homeowner, Palmyra 

Abdul and Salima’s family of four lived in a 2-bedroom apartment for 12 years. The first year worked out well . . . when the children were young.  Fast forward to the teenage years: space was cramped and privacy was an issue.  The family hoped to transfer to a larger apartment after the first year in the unit – but it wasn’t possible due to limited availability for three-bedroom units, coupled with the financial strain of higher rent.

Through Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership Program, the Belfquih family has achieved their dream of being homeowners. They are committed to providing 400 hours of sweat equity working in their own home, in the ReStore locations and participating in financial literacy classes.

“Habitat is teaching us how to be financially fit to own a home – they want us to succeed.”    …Abdul

 

Tony and Abby, Habitat Homeowner, Palmyra 

Tony House, a former combat medic with the Pennsylvania National Guard, hit rock bottom and experienced foreclosure after his career in the mortgage industry came to a screeching halt during the 2008 financial crisis.  For several years, Tony and his wife Abby lived paycheck to paycheck, scaling back to make ends meet. Despite these challenges, Tony experienced two more setbacks. He sustained injuries in a serious car accident and was diagnosed with prostate cancer.

During this challenging time, Tony volunteered with a local nonprofit and through his volunteerism he met representatives from Habitat and learned about the Veterans Build program.

Today, Tony and Abby are proud homeowners of a 3-bedroom, 1-bath home in Palmyra – on the site of the former Tri-Boro Veterans building, which served veterans from Palmyra, Riverton and Cinnaminson. Palmyra Borough donated land for the homes.

“It was a very challenging and stressful time for 10 years and I never thought I would get back on my feet let alone own a home again. Habitat was fantastic and worked diligently to help us through the process.”   … Tony