Habitat for Humanity expands opportunities for home ownership
Construction underway on first house at Heritage Hills in Nicholtown community
GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A six-acre plot at the corner of Ramsey Drive and Webster Road has become the future site of a new Habitat for Humanity neighborhood. On Wednesday, a celebration took place to raise the walls of the first home in Heritage Hills.
Christina Miraglia and her two children, Vinny, 17, and Angelina, 10, will be the first family to move into the new neighborhood.
“It’s still hard to believe because I’ve been trying for a long time to build something for me and my kids,” Miraglia told FOX Carolina.
Monroe Free, president of Habitat for Humanity of Greenville, said plans for this neighborhood started at least a decade ago with discussions about HOPE VI communities, which focus on mixed-income neighborhoods. After that, the Greenville Housing Authority gave the land to Habitat, and the nonprofit started finding partners to raise money. Duke Energy stepped forward and offered $100,000 to build the first home in the neighborhood.
“To know that a hard-working family in our community is going to be able to afford a home is pretty satisfying,” Monroe said. “This gives opportunities to families so that generational wealth develops...(and) there’s a sense of stability.”
In order to qualify for a Habitat home, part of the criteria requires that families are considered low-income (earning 30 to 60 percent of the area median income) and have the ability to pay the monthly mortgage. The Habitat program is set up so that homeowners’ mortgage payments do not exceed 30 percent of their income.
Miraglia said she had doubts that she’d ever be able to afford a Habitat home after being turned down in 2017 due to outstanding medical bills.
“This is something I knew I really wanted...and needed - not just for myself but for my kids,” Miraglia said. “I’ve had everything that could possibly hit me, and I still had my faith to keep strong.”
Construction on Miraglia’s home is expected to be finished by mid-November or early December.
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