Partner Family Spotlight
A few years ago, the Campos family came into the Habitat application process in dire need of safe, affordable housing.
The family of six was renting a four-room house with holes, covered over by duct tape, in the walls and floors. The heater and stove rarely worked. Fuses kept blowing, and there was a visible infestation of roaches and mice. The children all slept in one room. Despite these substandard living conditions, their rent was $550 a month and utility bills sometimes came to over $300.
Even with a steady job, Gennaro’s income couldn’t cover all of the family’s expenses. Often he and his wife, Gabriela, were faced with difficult choices, such as having to decide between buying food and paying bills. They found themselves going into debt in order to support their family.
Fortunately, they were accepted into the Habitat program. For the next 15 months, the Campos family worked to earn 400 social engagement, or sweat equity, hours by volunteering for Habitat and attending a series of homeownership and financial literacy classes. They enrolled in the IDA program, which helps participants resolve credit issues and save for a down payment.
The Campos family now proudly owns an eight-room house with four bedrooms. An average monthly mortgage payment for a three-bedroom Habitat house is $382, and the average cost for heating and cooling is $30 to $35 due to many energy-efficient features in new and remodeled Habitat houses. Thanks to these savings, the Campos family now has extra money each month to spend on food, other necessities, and fun “family nights” at the movies or a fast-food restaurant.