As she helped raise the wall on her future next-door neighbor's Habitat home, Kisha says, “I tell God, nothing’s gonna stop me from buying my home. I’ve waited too long, worked too hard, and this will be home for my children, granddaughter and me. I’m tired of paying rent, and you should see the place I stay now - the back door won’t even stay locked because the door frame is rotted.”
Kisha found out about Habitat because her aunt lives in a Habitat home. When asked if her aunt encouraged her to apply, she said, “No, I decided. Now is the time, the right time."
The path to homeownership has been a challenging one for Kisha. Our homeowners, in lieu of a down payment, complete between 250 to 350 hours of volunteer work ("sweat equity") on their home. This helps teach important construction skills while reducing the cost of labor on our homes. At first it can be a struggle for our homeowners to find the time to regularly come out to the work site.
“I applied, got approved, and then I almost couldn’t make it because I slept through several of my Habitat volunteer shifts. I work the 3rd shift (6pm – 6am at A&W North Carolina, making automatic transmissions for Toyota cars) 5 nights a week. I got put on probation for missing my volunteer shifts.”
“But then I worked out a system with Mike (the Habitat site supervisor)”, she told us with a grin. Kisha would take a quick nap after work and then head to her Habitat shift. Our site supervisor, Mike, understood her situation and made sure that she was able to get her hours in. “I figured it out, I’m really proud of myself” she shared at her pre-construction meeting in mid-March. And she should be! Her hard work has paid off!
Construction has just begun on her three bedroom home on South St. She will be working with The Durham Regional Association of Realtors (DRAR) and the Triangle Mortgage Lenders Association (TMLA) who are over 1,000 members strong. They have been fundraising to support the purchase of materials for this build, and are the home sponsor. They will also send volunteers out each Wednesday to help build alongside Kisha on her home. The home is being built as a part of the Durham 150 celebration as well!
We are grateful for our partnership with the Durham Realtor community and most of all with Kisha, a proud future Habitat homeowner. We are excited to see her future home come to life over the next few months, and you can follow on the progress on our construction blog HERE. Thanks for helping Durham Habitat build homes, hope and community in Southside!