Preserving a Legacy of Homeownership 

Royce and his aunt Sally

Preserving a Legacy of Homeownership 

21 years ago, Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity partnered with Annie to help her build and buy a brand new home in the Midtown neighborhood. Her son Royce spent his childhood in the home and has many fond memories there. Today, through the Critical Home Repair program, Milwaukee Habitat is helping Royce preserve the home that his mother built decades ago. 

In 2009, Annie passed away and left the house to Royce.

When Annie passed away, her sister Sally helped with the home until Royce was old enough. All Sally wanted was to help carry on what her sister started: creating a home for her children. She said: 

“Once [my sister] passed away, we wanted to ensure that the nephews had the same encouragement to keep moving forward. If they don’t move forward, they move backwards. It starts with little steps. The struggle is to keep moving on, and that’s what we have to do. With this house, we wanted to make sure it stayed in the family, [especially] if Royce gets married and has children of his own.” 

As a homeowner herself, Sally knows the impact that homeownership can have on someone’s life and is dedicated to helping Royce continue his mother’s dream. Since Royce came back from college, he has been living in and taking care of the home. Sally occasionally assists Royce in making decisions about the home. 

“I’m living the dream my sister set many years ago,” Sally said. “She wanted this home to be a home for her and her family.”

Although no major issues have arisen, because of the normal wear and tear that happens on a home over time, Royce noticed that the exterior of the home needed some repairs. These include fixing the security door and fixing the fence after a tree grew through it. 

“I spent a long time in that house,” Royce said. “[I have] plenty of memories from childhood till now. I hate seeing… the tree on the side fence. The door for the fence is into the ground now.”

When he was looking into options for these repairs, his aunt recommended he come back to Habitat.

Now, Royce is getting these repairs done with an affordable loan, 0% interest rate, and flexible repayment options through the Milwaukee Habitat Critical Home Repair program. 

Royce is looking forward to making these improvements and taking pride in the home his mother passed down to him.

“[The house will be] a little more complete and I’ll be proud of the home,” Royce said. “Right now you look at it and see an ordinary home, but with repairs I’ll come home and think ‘this is my house. I’m proud of this house.’”

Help break down the barriers to first-time homeownership for more local families.
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