Critical Repair Helps Charlie Stay Home

Critical Repair Helps Charlie Stay Home

Charlie has lived in his home in the Borchert Field neighborhood for 36 years. His home was built in 1924 and has needed quite a few repairs since he moved in.

“You move in a place; you get used to it and fall in love with it,” Charlie said. “My fiance planted a little tree in the backyard and now the tree is taller than the house. This is mine. I’m not gonna leave it.”

Homes naturally deteriorate over time and eventually, all homes need repairs and preventative maintenance. However, disrepair disproportionately affects people with fewer resources, because maintenance can be expensive. Disrepair can also create health and safety issues. 

Since Charlie’s home was built almost 100 years ago, he has seen this deterioration first hand. About seven years ago, Charlie needed a new porch along with a new front and back door. He saw Habitat doing some work where his mother and sisters lived and met some of the workers on the Habitat homes. One of the workers told him about the Milwaukee Habitat Critical Home Repair program.

The Critical Home Repair Program makes repairs such as roofing, plumbing, electrical, and more, affordable for local homeowners. The program offers a 0% interest loan on repairs, flexible repayment options, and up to 80% of the loan could be forgiven based on income.

The worker told Charlie that Milwaukee Habitat would be qualifying homeowners in his neighborhood soon. Charlie kept his eye out and as soon as they came to his neighborhood, he called. He received an application and that was the start of his relationship with Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity. He qualified for a loan and had his porch and doors repaired at an affordable price.

Now, Charlie needs window repairs, plumbing issues fixed, and more. Once again, he came to Milwaukee Habitat.

“If something goes wrong [in your home], fix it right then,” Charlie said. “I came straight to Habitat.”

Charlie qualified for another repair through the Milwaukee Habitat Critical Home Repair Program and will get his windows repaired at a price he can afford. 

“I don’t think the windows have been replaced since 1924,” Charlie said. “It’s [starting] to deteriorate. It’s time for a change.”

He is grateful for the partnership with Milwaukee Habitat and plans to stay in his home for many more years.

“I don’t believe in moving,” Charlie said. “You get somewhere, settle down, and stay. Habitat has helped me keep updating, keep it up to date, keep it repaired. I’d say I’d always come back. [The program] couldn’t be better.”

During this season of giving, you can help local families in need of safe, affordable housing..
Give your time and talents in our ReStores, on our build sites or join a committee.
Donate gently used furniture, appliances, home goods and more to support our work to make the cost of home something we all can afford.