Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity recently celebrated its 30th Habitat home in Niagara County with a home dedication to celebrate the newest homeowners achieving their dream of homeownership.
Andrea and Anthony Stewart are the recipients of a rehabbed, three-bedroom home on Walnut Avenue in Niagara Falls. Andrea, a personal care aid with HANCI, and Anthony, a retired truck driver, first applied for Niagara Habitat’s homebuyer program with the goal of creating a better life for their family. As part of Habitat’s homeownership process, Andrea and Anthony completed hundreds of hours of “sweat equity,” volunteering to help build their future home. In addition to their work building their future home, Andrea and Anthony also attended a variety of classes to prepare for homeownership, including a first-time homebuyer class, budgeting classes, and financial literacy courses.
“We are truly blessed to be here and getting this home” Andrea said during the dedication ceremony. “Thank God for Habitat and each and every person involved in this process for fighting hard to get this done.”
A press release stated, “The dedication ceremony celebrated the Stewart family as well as the many volunteers, donors, vendors and Habitat board and staff members who came together to build the home.”
“It truly takes a village,” said Habitat Community Outreach Director Marco Notaro. “At Habitat, we believe our work is putting our faith into action, and you truly see the collective power of our faith in action when you see how many people came together to help rehab this home.”
The press release noted, “The Walnut Avenue home was donated to Habitat in 2021 by a generous anonymous donor. The donor was moving out of state and wanted their home to go towards giving a local family a chance at their dream of homeownership.
“Before Habitat, the Stewarts were renting in the Town of Niagara. The home they were renting had foundational issues as well as heating issues. … Now, thanks to Habitat, the Stewart family will have a safe and affordable place to call home and to make many happy memories in within their grandchildren.”
Niagara Area Habitat for Humanity works to build strength stability, and self-reliance through homeownership. It was established in 1993 by a group of volunteers “to address the lack of affordable housing in Niagara County.” The organization has built 30 homes for families in Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda.
The press release said, “To create homeownership opportunities for low-income families, Niagara Area Habitat subsidizes the cost of homes through donations (both monetary and materials) and volunteer labor. Families that purchase homes through our program are required to first contribute 500 hours of ‘sweat equity’ as their down payment, working alongside community volunteers to construct their home and the houses of other families in the program. Once approved, families purchase their homes from Niagara Area Habitat by paying an affordable, low-interest, monthly mortgage.”
For more information, visit www.niagarahabitat.org.