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200th Habitat for Humanity Homeowner Family Dedicates Home
Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity celebrated with its 200th homeowner family on Sunday, November 13. The family of seven gathered with friends, neighbors, and Habitat volunteers to dedicate its new home at 616 Jefferson Place, in Kalamazoo’s Douglas Neighborhood.
The future Habitat homeowners will purchase this home with a very affordable mortgage provided by Habitat. They completed more than 500 volunteer hours or “sweat equity,” to help build this home and homes of fellow Kalamazoo Valley Habitat for Humanity future homeowners. The sweat equity included more than 30 hours of MSHDA-approved financial literacy and personal financial management classes and more than 27 hours of homeowner maintenance training in addition to hands-on volunteer service.
The 200th family will be the third Habitat family to live at this address. This home was originally built in partnership with the Home Builders Association of Western Michigan as the 1997 ”Fast Built” house. When the original owner became an empty nester and chose to downsize, Habitat bought the house back to recycle it to another family. The second owners relocated as well when their housing needs changed. The new homeowners, who came to Kalamazoo in 2007 as refugees from Africa, are looking forward to settling into their new home where their five children can pursue the Kalamazoo Promise.
“After 33 years of service to greater Kalamazoo, Habitat is now selling a home to its 200th family. This is a time to celebrate but also to reflect on what we’ve accomplished and where we are headed. Habitat builds solid, affordable homes in partnership with working families and we strive to be a catalyst for the revitalization of neighborhoods,” said Habitat Board President Chad Paluzzi. “We will pursue our affordable housing mission with the next 200 families by building new energy efficient homes on vacant land, rehabilitating dilapidated homes, and preserving and maintaining aging homes through our home repair program. We are committed to continuing our mission and our service to the community.”