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Habitat for Humanity Helps Woman Become Homeowner

Rosanny homeowner article

MICHELLE T. BERNARD
Staff Writer

Even though she has held a full-time job at a bank for almost five years, Rosanny Cruz couldn’t obtain a mortgage from a conventional bank.

“I didn’t make enough for the banks to give me a loan,” she said. “Friends told me about Habitat so I went and did the orientation and was approved for a mortgage in 2014.”

In order to get the mortgage and have a house built by Habitat for Humanity, Cruz also had to put in a minimum of 250 sweat equity hours taking classes, volunteering at the ReStore, helping with the construction of her own house and volunteering at Lincoln Charter School, which her two young daughters, Anali and Leanna, attend. Her daughters also got sweat equity hours for the grades they received in school. After putting in that many hours of volunteer work, Cruz said it was worth it.

Habitat builds homes for families in need of affordable housing who meet the criteria and have the ability to pay a low-interest mortgage. They also have to put in sweat equity hours volunteering in a ReStore and working on the homes of others as well as their own and they must be between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income, according to Lincoln County Habitat for Humanity executive director Terry Laney.

Cruz is currently in the process of moving her family into their new home, which is the first new home that Habitat for Humanity has built in Lincoln County in four years. Habitat is scheduled to start two new builds in January, with an estimated finish date in late May, according to homeowner services coordinator Alex Scarborough.

“It’s more than dream come true after so many doors were closed,” Cruz said. “For a single mother of two girls to be able to give them a house that they can call their own and they can grow up in, I don’t have words to describe my gratitude. I also didn’t know that while I was in the program that I would gain a family because Habitat has become a part of my family.”

Families interested in applying for the Habitat Homeownership Program can call at (704) 748-1800, ext. 104 or apply in person at the office at 809 East Sycamore Street in Lincolnton.

Image of Rosanny, in black, at her new home, built by Habitat for Humanity courtesy of Contributed