“I’ve Paid Over $60k In Rent”

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. 

“I’ve paid over $60k in rent”

Lakeia sees homeownership as a way to build independence for herself and her four children. For the past eight years they’d been renting a small two bedroom home and Lakeia was troubled by the lack of equity she was building by investing in someone else’s property.

“I’ve paid over $60,000 in rent,” says Lakeia. “I also do all the upkeep, landscaping, and have even done a number of renovations.”

It’s been an investment far beyond what she’s paid in rent. Yet, she fears that at any moment, that investment could be pulled right out from under them.

“A few years back our landlord wanted to sell the home and I was worried,” says Lakeia. “We didn’t know if we’d get kicked out or what would happen.”

Lakeia knew she wanted to provide a more stable environment for her four children, while being able to invest in a property of her own. She began by shopping around on the open market, but for the amount of space they needed, everything she found was far too expensive. That’s when a family member referred her to Milwaukee Habitat.

Lakeia found out that she’d be able to build a brand new home for nearly the same as she was paying to rent. This was her opportunity to build the independence and stability she had been searching for.

Lakeia worked hard to get her finances in order to be able to qualify for the program. She says it was a long journey, but it’s all worth it to give her kids a decent place to grow up. Her two sons, Romell and Rahzier, have shared a room since birth. Being five years apart, and Romell nearly a teenager, they we’re ecstatic to hear they’ll have their own rooms for the first time.

Lakeia is also looking forward to providing a more secure home for her oldest daughter, Nylan (4), who’s autistic.

During Lakeia’s virtual home dedication, her family joined us from their new kitchen. Mere hours before, Lakeia had signed the final closing papers. After getting the keys she picked up her four kids and went to see the home that was now officially theirs.

“I appreciate everything from the bottom of my heart,” Lakeia said during the dedication. “Oh my God, it moved me to tears to purchase my first home.”

Help make the cost of home affordable for local families.
Donate gently used furniture, appliances, home goods and more to support our work to make the cost of home something we all can afford.
Remodeling or demolishing? Habitat’s Deconstruction Services can give your kitchen cabinets and more a second life. The resale of these items will directly support our crucial work in the city.