My job in a major financial institution is to approve people’s mortgage applications. It was so hard to feel the disappointment that came from approving other mortgages, knowing that we could never afford a home of our own. But Habitat changed all of that for us. It didn’t seem fair that although we worked hard to put aside every dollar we had, my husband and I couldn’t qualify for a mortgage because we simply weren’t able to save up enough for a down payment. We wanted our young daughters to grow up in a safe and stable home they could call their own.
When we first learned about the Habitat model, it seemed too good to be true. They would partner with us so that we could buy our own home. That was the motivation we needed. Habitat helped us develop a budget and we committed to it and paid down some debt we had. Once we did that, we were accepted into the home ownership program. It was lots of hard work – but it was so worth it. We got to actually build our home alongside an incredible team of volunteers. We took courses with our neighbours on mortgages, managing finances and home maintenance. My husband worked part-time at Habitat’s ReStore and I was pushed way out of my comfort zone when I spoke in front of 500 people at a fundraising gala. Meeting donors really changed my perspective.
It was so nice to meet people – like you – who really wanted to help families like mine who simply need a bit of support to realize the dream of home ownership. That’s why I agreed to write this letter. Because, there are so many families like mine who also dream of providing their children with stability and future filled with hope. I hope you’ll consider supporting Habitat as a donor this year so another grateful family can become homeowners and change the trajectory of their family’s lives. Because that’s what Habitat has meant for me and my family.
Once you stop struggling financially, you’re able to relax and enjoy life. Because our mortgage payments are geared-to-income and interest-free, my husband has been able to return to school. We have started investing in RESPs for our daughters. It breaks my heart thinking there are more families out there who need to choose between saving for their children’s education or saving for a home. But that’s the position we were in just a few years ago, until Habitat – and donors like you – changed everything for us.
I understand that Habitat is going to build eight homes in our community next year. As homes become less affordable in Ottawa, the need gets greater. And I hope you can see from my story that your investment today will pay off for generations to come. My kids will be able to go to College or University, and with an education, they will have more options. All because of donors like you and the effort and hard work of Habitat families and volunteers.
The stress of the world has not magically disappeared, but now we have a refuge. A safe place to call home, a place where my daughters have flourished into confident, independent young women. We have the tools to succeed as homeowners and the budgeting skills to save for tomorrow. And me, well, now I can approve those mortgages with pride and say, “I’m a homeowner, too.”
Sam, Habitat Homeowner