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Future homeowners, Tesfaye and Tigist, originally came to Northern Virginia for employment opportunities. The household grew with the arrivals of their daughter and son. As parents, they are challenged with raising a son and daughter in an overcrowded two-bedroom, one bath apartment. Both teenagers share the master bedroom, with their son sleeping in a converted closet with no windows or ventilation. In addition, their home lacks proper ventilation and many of the kitchen appliances do not work properly; thus causing the family to keep a freezer in one of the bedrooms.

Tesfaye works in public transit and Tigist is a child care provider. More than 50% of their household income is dedicated to rent amid substandard conditions. They long for a stable home of their own, an opportunity to build equity, and a way to save for the future. The entire family understands how an affordable mortgage can help them realize these goals. To Tesfaye and Tigist, this is a life-changing opportunity for their family.

Eager to acquaint themselves with Habitat’s program, all four family members jumped into the sweat equity requirements.  Sweat equity includes both volunteer hours and financial literacy. The family had a cumulative total of 52 volunteer hours in less than one month. Looking ahead to the home they are helping to build, Tigist is most excited to have a kitchen with fully functional appliances and a dedicated space in her own home for laundry. Tesfaye is similarly excited about amenities but more than anything, he’s profoundly humbled by the opportunity to build his family’s first home and have security, stability, and self-reliance. “The opportunity to build equity and finally provide a home where my wife and children can have privacy and a space to call their own means so much to me,” Tesfaye explained.

Habitat NOVA is proud to provide Tesfaye and Tigist the hand-up they need to make the dream of homeownership come true. Happy Father’s Day to all our Habitat NOVA dads! And many thanks to our generous donors supporting our mission to build strong and stable families and communities in Northern Virginia.