Three Families to Receive Keys to Their Habitat Homes Friday Morning at 9 am
St. Petersburg, FL – Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties will celebrate with three families at their home dedication events in St. Petersburg. The Davis, Murray and Christopher families will be celebrating their achievement of the American Dream of homeownership.
Habitat Homeowner Candidates complete the required 32 homebuyer education classes as well as 350+ required sweat equity hours. They will purchase their respective homes with a zero-percent interest loan through Habitat, keeping their mortgage affordable. These three homes were sponsored by generous Pinellas community partnerships. Representative Ben Diamond and Senator Jeff Brandes will be at the triple home dedication event, welcoming the new homeowners to their next chapter. Representative Chris Latvala and US Representative Charlie Crist have also been invited to the celebration.
These three properties are part of a larger partnership with the Pinellas County Housing Finance Authority (HFA). Habitat was selected to develop twelve scattered-site homes within the Lealman Community Redevelopment Area to be sold to families at or below 80% area median income. The 12 total properties have an approximate $1.2 million in current market value and will be held in a community land trust which will ensure their affordability generations to come. This is also part of Habitat’s targeted efforts to provide affordable homeownership within the Lealman community with an anticipated 20 more homes to be constructed in the upcoming months. The partnership will help revitalize the community, increase homeownership and affordable housing options, and strengthen the neighborhood’s overall economic stability.
Triple Dedication: Davis, Murray & Christopher Families
Sponsored by Pinellas Community Partnerships
Friday, October 28th | 9 AM – 9:30 AM
3908 57th Ave N, St. Petersburg
The Davis Family
Latasha Davis is a Lab Medical Assistant, working at St. Anthony’s Hospital for 16 years. She and her two children are on their way of achieving their dream of homeownership with Habitat. “My children are my life; without them and God I am nothing! Everything I do is for my children,” Latasha says. She is excited to finally be able to give her children a home that they can call their own.
For the past five years, Latasha has struggled to purchase a home. The main challenge has been the affordability of the current housing market. She has been on the Section 8 program for 18 years and is ready to pay a mortgage that is going towards something that she owns. The landlord of her previous apartment decided to sell the property, leaving her family struggling to find a place to live within 45 days. She now lives in a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment with little to no storage space for clothes and linens, as well as dust and A/C leakage issues that has caused damage to the flooring. “It’s really small and my children are growing we need stability and more room.” In Latasha’s brand-new forever home, the family will have plenty of room for storage and will be able to live comfortably in the privacy of their own spacious bedrooms.
The Murray Family
The Murray family experienced a whirlwind of housing issues before getting accepted into the Habitat program that unfortunately hindered their quality of life. After 9 years of being on the waiting list, Jevenni Murray was finally selected to receive a housing voucher. This was such exciting news and a sense of relief for her family, as her living conditions at the time were becoming unbearable. The 2-bedroom home she had been living in began to experience mold issues that affected her family’s health, the A/C was continuously broken since the day she moved in, and unstable wiring in the home would smoke. She knew that this home was not safe for her children, so she began her search for a new home that would qualify for her housing voucher. Jevenni never gave up hope and kept her faith as she applied for the Habitat program. Finally, she was accepted and will move in with her family where they no longer need to worry about unsafe living conditions or extremely high rent.
The Christopher Family
Shortly before her 19th birthday, Victoria Christopher’s mother and brother both passed away. She bounced from place to place and job to job until her daughter, Isabella, was born in 2013. “She saved my life,” Victoria says. “I wasn’t in a bad place in life, just could’ve been further along. Bella showed me how to be independent, patient, and how to love unconditionally. It was just her and I for four years until her brother, Weston, came. He was a piece of our puzzle we didn’t realize we were missing. The two of them have a connection I couldn’t have dreamed they would have.”
The Christopher is living with another family member in a very small, cramped space. They all share one bedroom together and do not have a table where all of them can sit down and share a meal together, so they are forced to eat out a lot which cuts into their finances. When Victoria was accepted into the Habitat program, her first thoughts were “Thank you Mom and Jesus. My prayers are being answered and my dreams are coming true.”
Full Family Bios
Media are invited to attend these events. Interview opportunities will be available after the ceremony. Please contact Morgan Brochetti at (727) 512-3781 for more information.
Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas County and West Pasco Counties
Since 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties has served over 900 families and individuals through its new home buyer and neighborhood revitalization programs using locally raised funds. Volunteers and the future homeowners construct the homes, which are sold at no profit and financed with a zero-interest loan. Habitat homeowner candidates earn 30 to 80 percent of area median income. Candidates must demonstrate need for adequate shelter; ability to pay back a zero-interest loan and willingness to partner with Habitat to invest 350 to 450 “sweat equity” hours. Mortgage monies are used to build even more homes, making each donation to Habitat a perpetual legacy to the community. Habitat believes that homeownership contributes to family stability, leading, in turn, to community stability. Additionally, the affiliate raises funds through their ReStores; home improvement outlets where donated household and building items are sold to the public. For more information about Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties, call (727) 536-4755 or visit www.habitatpwp.org.