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Habitat partners set their own expectations for homeownership.

[Blog Post by Sarah Stanton, Executive Director]

I’ve been thinking lately about expectations and how they impact our happiness.  In our society, you tend to mingle with people that have similar life circumstances and expectations for lifestyles.  Habitat home buyers are often the first person in their family to own a home. They often grew up moving from apartment to apartment, changing schools and struggling to feel settled and at home. But the families that partner with Habitat have made a decision that they want something different. They want their own home, they prioritize their home over many other things and are willing to work incredibly hard to earn it. It is one of the qualities that always strikes me about our Habitat partners: they are determined to do what it takes to own a home and have set their own expectation for homeownership.

Simple, decent, affordable – that’s how we describe our Habitat homes. The goal is to help hard working families earn their own home by offering a zero interest mortgage, a modest down payment and the opportunity to learn about homeownership through sweat equity. The expectation isn’t to saddle buyers with giant, expensive, energy gobbling homes, but to help them purchase a home that is affordable and sustainable for their family. It may be difficult at times, but becoming a homeowner can change everything.

Want to learn more about our homeownership program? We’d love to meet you. Click here to find out how you or someone you know can take the first step to becoming a homeowner.

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Sarah Stanton, Executive Director

Thanks to you, 17 families now have a place to call home. And that’s just the beginning.

[Blog Post by Sarah Stanton, Executive Director]

July 1st is the beginning of our new fiscal year, a time when we dream about the families we will help. It is also a time to take a minute to share what you helped accomplish during the past 12 months:

  • 22 adults and 33 children owning their first home (each completing 250+ sweat equity hours, budgeting and home ownership classes, legal workshops and more)
  • 17 homes renovated and sold with a no-profit (0% interest) mortgage
  • 17 families supported in Guatemala and Haiti through our affiliate’s International commitment
  • 40 additional families served, either by a critical repair/weatherization, exterior improvement or furnace replacement
  • Numerous community development activities coordinated
  • 1100+ families with a new energy efficient refrigerator
  • 100+ families receiving credit counseling
  • 25+ families participating in home maintenance classes
  • $270,000+ in taxes paid by Habitat homeowners in Washtenaw County last year alone
The numbers are astounding. But as with anything in life, it’s not only the sheer volume that matters most, it’s the individual experiences that really drive home the great work we are doing:
It’s the Mom who broke down crying at her closing and shared with us that she had been homeless and without any hope, but made up her mind that she would find a way to give her children their own stable home. She made that promise to herself and followed through by working her way up from a temporary position to a permanent employee. She had been gratefully living in subsidized housing; but was overjoyed to move into home ownership.
It’s the elderly veteran living in the West Willow neighborhood that became choked up as our construction manager described the repairs we planned to do in his home, saying at first he couldn’t possibly accept all of the help.
There are so many individual moments throughout the year, so many times every week, nearly every day, where I am struck anew with how grateful I am to be involved in this work and amazed by the power of people working together with a shared vision. 
We keep pushing ourselves, not always in an obvious or straightforward manner, but always learning and improving and engaging more friends in our vision.
Thank you for your role in the success of the organization this year and for your commitment to the great work ahead of us.
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Sarah Stanton
Executive Director
17families