Each year, Habitat meets families from all backgrounds and walks of life. We pride ourselves in partnering with hardworking families to provide a hand up from their current situation. Along the way, we meet many families and individuals with inspiring stories. Our Homeowner Highlight for July 2019 goes to Margaret Daniels. Today, at the age of 72, she is the proud owner of a new Habitat home.
Margaret’s story with Habitat begins in 2018. Margaret had been researching homeownership programs in search of an affordable place to live. She asked family members for information on housing assistance programs, but none seemed to fit her need or situation. During one of her daily walks, she happened to see a sign for Habitat for Humanity of San Antonio with a phone number to call for more information. At first, she was hesitant to call because she did not have any young children living with her. She thought that the program was mainly for large families with young children and not for individuals. The next day, she decided to make the call that would change her life forever.
Applying as an Individual
Habitat let Margaret know that the homeownership program works with different family sizes and situations. Since 1976, Habitat has helped 1,092 individuals and families in San Antonio obtain safe and affordable homes. After her call with the Family Services team, she submitted an application. Margaret was accepted into the program and was able to obtain a 0% interest loan through Habitat!
The homeownership program requires participants to spend 300 hours in time and labor in addition to attending homeowner education classes. Margaret was eager to begin working on her sweat equity hours. While the minimum requirement for Sweat Equity hours is 300, Margaret invested well over 350 hours towards the building of her own home as well as the homes of other Habitat households. In addition to helping out on the construction site, Margaret took on other tasks including helping in the administrative office and volunteering in the Home Center’s warehouse.
A Neighborhood that Feels Like Home
Margaret is thrilled to be part of a close-knit community. She hopes that the coming years help her and her neighbors stay close. She describes her new neighbors as family. They’ve been so kind and helpful to her throughout her time in the program and continue to assist her as she transitions into the neighborhood.
Moving into her new home has provided many blessings, but a few new challenges for Margaret. With help from Habitat and her new community, she’s been able to overcome some of her new obstacles. Margaret does not drive, but fortunately, she has a bus stop less than 5 minutes away. Her neighbor has offered to drive her to run errands and provided her with a phone number to call anytime she needs a ride. Other neighbors have also offered to help her with maintaining her lawn and cleaning up trash around her property.
Affordable Homes to Age in Place
Like all of our Habitat homes, Margaret’s home is built with universal design in mind. This allows individuals and their family members to age in place comfortably. Our homes feature zero-step entry, wider hallways, and doorways for wheelchairs or walkers, and walls that are pre-blocked to allow for any necessary grab bars.
On the day of her house dedication, Margaret proudly greeted the neighborhood from her patio. She stopped to chat with her neighbors, Habitat employees and volunteers who were in attendance for the celebration of 8 new homes. Now, when asked about the completion of her new home, Margaret warmly reflects with, “I think I’m going to be doing okay”.
To learn more about how you can help #BuildforBetter, reach out to our Marketing Associate, Tracy, at marketing@HabitatSA.org. For questions about applying for your own affordable home, please call 210-223-5203.