We’re back with another edition of Good News Tues to spread a little joy from our Habitat family to yours. We’re all in this together. Here’s hoping this brings a little light to your day.
A Warm Place To Call Home
During our harsh Wisconsin winters, one thing that’s absolutely critical is a warm place to call home. As the snow falls and the wind howls, being able to turn that thermostat up a few notches is a luxury many of us probably take for granted. But, what would you do if you turned the thermostat and nothing happened? Linda, a proud grandmother who’s lived in Milwaukee for decades, has experienced that on three different occasions within the last four years in her two bedroom apartment.
Now, it’s bad enough to be without heat, but one of those three occasions happened on Christmas Eve. Linda did everything she could to try and stay warm, even turning on the oven for heat. On a separate occasion, during the 2019 polar vortex, her heat went out again. Most recently this winter, Linda went without heat for nearly an entire week.
These types of outages shouldn’t be commonplace in any legitimate rental, no matter what the price. Yet, Linda is paying more than $900 per month to a landlord she says she hasn’t seen in years. Linda’s son recommended she take matters into her own hands and buy a home of her own. Driving around the Midtown neighborhood, she noticed rows of brand new houses being built off of North Avenue. She saw the signs for Habitat for Humanity and had to take a closer look.
Linda found out that for less than she was paying to rent her apartment, she’d be able to buy one of those brand new homes off North Avenue. The average mortgage for a Milwaukee Habitat home is between $600-$800 per month. As opposed to buying an older property on the open market, Linda was reassured by the fact that this home is coming equipped with a brand new furnace and energy efficient windows.
She can’t wait to have her grandchildren over to play in the backyard. Linda watches them regularly and wanted a safe place for them to stay. In her apartment, in addition to having no place to play, there’s been a shooting and several robberies outside.
Soon she’ll have the whole crew gathered on her back patio where Linda plans to fire up the BBQ.
“On holidays, I like to grill out for the family,” she says. “Ribs are my specialty.”
After renting her entire life, Linda is becoming a first-time homebuyer and doing so at a price she can afford. With a little help from Habitat for Humanity, Linda is overcoming the barriers that all too many in our community face when trying to find a safe, affordable place to call home.