9:30 a.m., July 29)
for Humanity families begin to move into their new homes
By Fred Sherwin
Slotas -- Peter, Samantha, Haley and Isabelle
- are still getting used to their Habitat
for Humanity home on Cousineau Drive in Orléans.
many financially challenged families, the idea of owning
their own home is little more than a pipe dream. But for
four families who are the beneficiaries of the latest
Habitat for Humanity project on Cousineau Street in Orléans,
that dream has become a reality.
months of delays, the four families are finally moving
into their new abodes and settling into their new surroundings.
Tumebo and Tefera Ashigo were in the process of moving
into their new home on Saturday and were still adjusting
to their new reality.
exciting and crazy at the same time," said Woinset,
who along with her husband Tefera and their two children
Yohanna, 3, and Elda, 2, received the keys to their new
home during a special ceremony last week, as did two other
families -- the Souguehs and the Boaykes. The fourth family
received their keys a month ago.
"It still doesn't seem real. The key ceremony was
a bit overwhelming," said Woinset.
for Humanity recipients are chosen based on their ability
to pay back their interest free mortgage. It's a popular
misconception that the homes are free. In fact, each home
is assessment a fair market value once it's built. The
families then must make monthly mortgage payments based
on the market value. The payments, however, are limited
to 25 per cent of the family's gross income.
recipients must also provide a minimum of 500 hours in
"sweat equity" during the build, and most, if
not all, spend hundreds of additional hours helping out
on other Habitat builds long after they've moved into
their new home.
Woinset and Tefera, who spent hundreds of hours working
on their new home and have waited over a year to finally
move in, Saturday was the first day of the rest of their
want to have another child, but we couldn't where we were
before because it was too small and it wasn't safe and
we couldn't afford anything bigger, so Habitat has been
a real blessing for us," said Woinset.
and Peter Slota were able to move into their new home
on July 1 along with their daughters, Hailey, 9, and Isabelle,
4. Like Woinset and Tefera, receiving a Habitat for Humanity
home is a dream come true.
the first couple of weeks it was like living in a stranger's
home, now it's starting to sink in that it's really ours,"
says Samantha. "This is not just the nicest home
I've ever lived in, it's the nicest home I've ever seen.
All the angels are square and the paint is beautiful.
Samantha, who grew up in Orléans and went to Henry
Larsen Elementary School, the Habitat for Humanity experience
has been a coming home of sorts.
really been surreal. One of the first things we did was
take the girls to Henry Larsen, where they will be going
to school in September, and showing them around where
their mother went school."
Sougueh and Amina Mohamed were planning to move into their
new home with their four children Issir, 9, Souber, 7,
Aicha, 4, and a 10-month-old baby on the weekend. Youssef
has been dreaming of owning his own home ever since he
immigrated to Canada from Djibouti in 2010.
Habitat my dream was to own my own home and now my dream
has come true. This a great thing especially for my son.
Where we were living before it was in the basement and
he had aspiration problems breathing, so this will be
very good for him and for all my children," said
Youssef, who invited his new neighbours over for a traditional
celebration on Sunday.
fourth family, Ragan Boakye and her two sons Showtell,
14, and Shomari, 10, plan to move into their new home
in the coming days.
the other families who are relocating from neighbourhoods
and situations which weren't the most conducive to raising
a family, Ragan says she feels blessed to be given such
an amazing opportunity.
can go to work without worrying, Ragan said during
last week's key presentation ceremony. I know this
is a safe community
you made my childrens
future better, and as a single mom, and a black mother,
living in a bad neighbourhood is very challenging. So
thank you for giving my children a better future.
for Humanity is currently planning to build 16 townhomes
at the corner of Jeanne d'Arc Blvd. and Fortune Dr. The
project is temporarily on hold while they deal with soil
contamination caused by a gas station that occupied the
site in the 1980s and 90s.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business
www.orleansonline.ca's main page