Becoming ‘The Boss Of My Own House’

Becoming ‘The Boss Of My Own House’

Jennifer sees the investment in homeownership as an opportunity to build independence and stability for her and her four children. In the three bedroom unit she’s currently renting, she’s experiencing the same types of issues that so many renters in our community are dealing with.

“Rents can change. {Leases} have stipulations,” she says. “I want to be the boss of my own house.”

Jennifer has watched her rent steadily climb over the last several years. Because of this, even though her income has gone up, she hasn’t felt like she’s been able to get ahead of her housing expenses. She’s not alone. Rental prices spiked coming out of the pandemic and Wisconsin families are feeling some of the steepest hikes in the nation. An article by PBS Wisconsin noted the average monthly costs for 1- and 3- bedroom rentals in Wisconsin have jumped by as much as 25% since 2021.

This cycle of rising rent is making it nearly impossible for families to save for the down payment on their first home – and even harder for families with a single source of income.

“Trying to save ten to fifteen thousand dollars is hard when you’re a single parent,” Jennifer says.

Large down payments represent one of the most common barriers to renters looking to break into the homeownership market. That’s precisely why Milwaukee Habitat requires little to no down payment to build and buy a brand new home.

Through our affordable homeownership program, Jennifer is building a four bedroom home in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood. Not only does she expect her mortgage to be less than what she’s currently spending on rent, but she’ll no longer have to worry about a landlord raising her rent year after year.

“This is an amazing opportunity for single mothers,” she says.

Jennifer and her children are looking forward to the extra space. As her family as grown, they’ve had to utilize common areas for bedroom space in their rental. This will be the first time that all of her children have their own bedrooms.

“It’s exciting. I always wanted to [become a homeowner] by the time I’m 40,” she says. “I’m 37 and it feels amazing to succeed like this.”

Help break down the barriers to first-time homeownership for more local families.
Get a jump on your spring cleaning! ReStore now offers free and expedited pick up for everything from furniture to appliances and more! Let us do the hauling for you.
When you donate a car, truck, boat or RV through Habitat’s Cars for Homes™ program, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity receives 100% of the net proceeds of your vehicle donation.