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“I always had a dream to own a home and I always wanted to build one. Now I’m doing just that.”

When a bat infestation was discovered in Andrea’ s apartment, she knew she had to find a better home for herself and her two children.

“It was so bad,” Andrea said. “One night, I woke up to a bat flying around in our apartment and later I found one in my son’s bed when I was putting him down for a nap.”

Concerned about their health and safety, Andrea contacted her landlord but was told they were not willing to help because it was too expensive to remove the bats. To make the situation even worse, Andrea, her son, and her daughter had to go through an expensive and painful round of rabies vaccines to ensure they had not been infected by the infestation.

“My landlord wouldn’t do anything to help,” Andrea said. “They gave me a plastic cup and a lid and told me to catch the bats myself.”

Eventually, she was able to move to another apartment but the experience made her realize that it was time for her to build strength, stability and self-reliance for her family. She began searching for a home to purchase but was unable to find one large enough for her family.

“I couldn’t afford anything,” Andrea said. “And what I could afford was too small or wasn’t in a safe neighborhood.”

It was Andrea’s friend, a Habitat homeowner, who suggested that she call Habitat KC and ask about the Affordable Homeownership Program.

“When she first told me about it I asked, ‘What’s the catch?’,” Andrea said. “At first I thought the application process was too complicated but once I started, it was so easy. I don’t know why I waited so long.”

Now in the Affordable Homeownership Program, Andrea will soon start construction on her new home. After a lifetime of rising rental costs and surviving an abusive relationship, she now has the chance to build a safe, healthy home for herself and her children.

Her children, currently sharing a bedroom, are looking forward to having a space to call their own. Her son wants a basketball goal and her daughter wants room to dance and a place for a puppy. Andrea is looking forward to going back to school with the money she will now save thanks to an affordable Habitat KC mortgage.

“They ask about their new home every day,” Andrea said. “My daughter draws pictures of the house all the time. She draws the whole family and the house is always there behind us.”

With Habitat KC, Andrea is putting the past behind her and building a brighter future for herself and her family.

“I always had a dream to own a home and I always wanted to build one. Now I’m doing just that.”