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One of the new homeowners, Wanda, has been on a quest to find affordable housing over the years, which led her further away from her family, increased her daily commute to work, and left her feeling isolated because the unsafe neighborhood kept loved ones from visiting. She wanted her next move to be safe and permanent, where she could feel connected to her community and welcome family for gatherings.
Wanda said her prayers were answered when she was selected for the Affordable Homeownership Program. She eagerly attended workshops and meetings with her mentor in preparation of closing on her home all while working full time. Now, Wanda is purchasing her home with an affordable mortgage that she can pay with her salary as a supervisor for the New Jersey Turnpike. Her home is also located beside a fellow Habitat Homeowner family, which offers her a feeling of familiarity in her new community.
Habitat for Humanity works year round to honor our local veterans who have sacrificed so much, yet ask for nothing in return. That’s why when local homeowner and Purple Heart Recipient, Ron Dash, reached out for a helping hand, we pulled out all the stops to make sure his home was all he needed it to be – safe, modern, and efficient – by replacing his roof.
Mr. Dash’s roof was worn down from years of tough wind and weather. It needed extensive repairs to the point of a total replacement, so we reached out to our friends at Owens Corning who connected us with ECC Roofing & Siding through the Roof Deployment Program to see if it was a job their team could reasonably take on. The crew at ECC was excited for the opportunity to serve a local vet in need and worked alongside us to make this project happen for Mr. Dash.
For Shanika and her two adolescent children, their new home is place of solace. The family previously lived in Trenton in in a one-bedroom apartment, where they had to wait weeks for their landlord to respond to maintenance requests. Prior to the pandemic, Shanika looked for a larger apartment, but was so discouraged by how expensive housing in her area was. Then, with onset of Covid-19, affordable housing options were even scarcer. Luckily, Shanika discovered Habitat’s Affordable Homeownership Program and learned that her monthly mortgage payment for a 3-bedroom home would be less than the cost of a three-bedroom apartment. She will now be able to raise her daughters in a safe environment and stable place that they can all call home.
Homeownership means stability to Shanika, and gives her a sense of accomplishment to know she was able to find a solution that will have a great impact on her children for years to come. She says, “My daughters will see that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. My family will have comfort and that means so much to me.”
As a homeowner, Shanika looks forward to maintaining her home with the information she learned by attending workshops on plumbing, gardening and painting. She is excited to explore her new community and has enjoyed volunteering on the construction site of future Habitat properties. Most importantly, Shanika is looking forward to worrying less because she has affordable mortgage payments and will be able to focus more on the wellbeing of her family.
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