WASHTENAW COUNTY, MI – Wendy Alfaro-Cruz is an engineer for a software package enterprise. But even with that work, affording a down payment and discovering her to start with residence in the Ann Arbor location, wherever she grew up and is near to her household, proved overwhelming.
Then in November, the 29-12 months-outdated modern university graduate saw a publish from Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley.
Just a handful of months and 200 hours of “sweat equity” later on and Alfaro-Cruz is going into Habitat’s 275th Washtenaw County home, a milestone celebrated throughout a determination on Wednesday, March 8.
“I’d like to thank anyone who labored on this house,” she reported, standing in her new living area in the Appleridge neighborhood in Ypsilanti Township. “I will acquire superior care of it.”
To mark the celebration, Alfaro-Cruz minimize a significant pink ribbon on her entrance techniques on Intercontinental Women’s Day.
The property is 1 of Habitat’s tasks constructed in part by its Gals Establish program, where crews of girls volunteers decide up hammers and resources to support entire design.
In 2022, 15 groups of 120 females raised additional than $69,000 and provided additional than 840 volunteer several hours to enable create two homes, one of them for Alfaro-Cruz.
“It’s essential to know that we really don’t give homes absent. Our motto is hand up, not hand out,” stated Jo Ann McCollum, a Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley board member.
Alfaro-Cruz done pre-invest in home upkeep and economical arranging classes and compensated a $1,000 down payment. As the purchaser, she is accountable for paying her mortgage, residence insurance coverage and taxes.
She also used 200 hrs doing the job on yet another Habitat create as component of the inexpensive homeownership program.
That involved working side-by-aspect with Travis Daniels, a Habitat home chief, painting and framing home windows.
“There’s a ton of grace that she emanates, and it was truly a privilege to be in a position to operate with her, and I know she’s likely to make this house into a seriously loving household,” Daniels said on Wednesday.
Habitat has attained the 275-dwelling milestone by way of 34 many years doing work in Washtenaw County as a local affiliate of the world-wide nonprofit housing team.
Because 2008, the firm switched entirely from new builds to renovations of foreclosed houses, McCollum said, and has also focused attempts on the Ypsilanti-region Sugarbrook and West Willow neighborhoods.
Households are renovated employing Energy Star requirements to enable slice down on utility expenditures, and the firm also runs a dwelling advancement application that usually can help more mature grown ups or veterans remain in their houses.
In fiscal 12 months 2021, the corporation assisted just about 1,700 individuals and people across the county, with a lot more than 4,000 volunteers and 770 tons of waste diverted by means of its ReStore donation initiative, in accordance to McCollum.
“You are not just setting up properties, but making communities that treatment for every single other,” U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Ann Arbor, stated in a statement a representative read at the Wednesday determination.
Alfaro-Cruz experienced for a time lived as significantly away as Monroe to help you save on hire, and thought it would take her a extensive time to purchase a property in Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti, in which her household has lived since the 1990s.
Now, with her boyfriend, she’s transferring into the newly-renovated a few-bedroom dwelling with ample yard house for her pet.
“I really don’t feel a ton of persons know that a person like me — I mean I work as an engineer, and I can even now purchase a residence like this and not have to contend in opposition to 30 other folks for the exact same property,” she said.
“This is like a dream to me.”
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