Paid in Full!

Paid in Full!

“This house right here is for you, son,” homeowner Teresa Davis said while looking at her son amidst a crowd. “This, I am going to leave for my kids… Paid in full!” 

She threw her mortgage into the fire and danced toward family and friends to embrace them.

Since our founding in 1984, 218 Milwaukee Habitat homeowners have paid off their homes.

We recently hosted a mortgage burning ceremony where homeowners who had paid off their mortgage were invited to ceremoniously burn their mortgage documents. Homeowners, family, and friends gathered to watch as each homeowner threw their mortgage documents into a fire and celebrated this amazing accomplishment. 

For many, it was an emotional experience.

“Pa Pa this is for you! You did it!” homeowner Julia Felts said while reaching toward the sky. “He left me a couple of months ago, but he paid this house off. For you, honey!” she said as she threw the mortgage into the fire.

Watch Teresa dedicate her home to her son:

Listen to this homeowner’s emotional journey:

For many in this country, homeownership has been a driver for generational wealth creation and stability. These homeowners celebrated their accomplishment in making homeownership and its benefits a reality for themselves and their families. 

“[Habitat] blessed us with a bigger house to raise our kids,” homeowner Johnny Tucker said while standing next to his wife Debra. “Two of them are here today. All of them graduated high school. All of them went to college but one. He owns [a business],” he said with pride. 

This year, Milwaukee Habitat is building 20 brand new affordable homes in the Harambee neighborhood and preparing 20 new families to be successful homeowners and someday burn their own mortgages.

You can make homeownership possible for more local families.
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.