Meet Chris and Leigh
Chris and Leigh are not strangers when it comes to Habitat for Humanity. Chris previously volunteered when his employer worked on a Blitz Build home with a family of a special needs child. Leigh saw first-hand how the Habitat process worked as her father served for many years as a volunteer builder in South Carolina. So when traditional mortgage lending options proved too expensive, they knew where they could turn with their dream of homeownership. For years, they have faced the dilemma experienced by far too many individuals and families as they seek safe, decent, affordable housing. For many, what is affordable is often inadequate. But when families choose to prioritize health and safety, they often face paying too much for decent housing, known as being cost burdened. This means tough decisions must be made every month as to what will be left undone, from putting money aside for education to making doctor’s visits to the ability to buy nutritious food. For Chris, who works in construction, and for Leigh, who works in the county school system, paying too much for housing as they have attempted to provide a decent home for their three daughters has been keeping them from experiencing the strength and stability that comes from affordable homeownership. And on top of their high monthly rent, they have an electric bill which runs over $400 in the winter just to keep their home at a chilly 64 degrees. This is why one of the features of their new home they are most looking forward to is the energy efficiency for which Habitat homes are known. A drastically reduced utility bill combined with an affordable mortgage will empower them to build wealth and allow them to make choices that have a positive impact on the well-being of their family. They have been chasing this dream for some time and one of their teenagers has noted that it feels like they have been playing the “Let’s Go House Hunting” game. But the entire family is excited that the hunt is over, and they are looking forward to getting started and building their dream together, hand in hand with the Habitat family.