After Two Years of Staying in Friend’s Basement, Idalia Finally Has Home of Her Own

Aug. 2, 2022

Idalia with sold sign (1).jpg

After more than two years of housing uncertainty during the pandemic, one Lansing woman is reclaiming her independence and stability through Habitat for Humanity Capital Region’s Homeownership Program. Homeownership will give Idalia the foundation she needs to build a safe and financially stable future.

Idalia lost her fiancé at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, throwing her world upside down. Her fiancé had owned the home that they lived in together and Idalia’s name was not on the mortgage. She had to move out of their home together and has been living in a generous friend’s basement ever since.

Idalia applied to the Habitat Capital Region Homeownership Program for the opportunity to purchase an affordable home of her own. In her application to the program, Idalia wrote, “Having my own home indicates that my foundation is solid. The earth will no longer shake with uncertainty. I can now feel a sense of empowerment.”

Idalia completed homebuyer education, home maintenance, and financial readiness classes to prepare her for successful homeownership. She has also completed over 200 hours of “sweat equity” or time volunteering with Habitat Capital Region to build her own home and the homes of other Habitat homebuyers.

Homeownership will give Idalia the foundation she needs to build a safe and stable future for herself without the worry of what comes next. It will allow her to find her independence again and to be in control of her life and future. When talking about how buying a home will change her future, Idalia said, “I’ll have more stability. I’ll be able to grow, to succeed, and to know that nobody can ever take this away from me.”

Idalia is excited to have her own home where she can have a designated sewing room and grow a vegetable garden in her backyard. She said, “I’ll be able to pass this down to my kids, and they’re going to know that mom finally has a home for herself… I’m so proud and I can’t wait for my children to see it.”

In addition to Idalia’s personal journey to becoming a homeowner, this success story would not be complete without mentioning the innovative partnership between Habitat Capital Region and Lansing Housing Commission (LHC) that made it all possible for Idalia. Through this partnership, single-family LHC homes in the City of Lansing will be preserved for affordable homeownership. Habitat Capital Region is rehabbing these homes to sell to qualified, low- to moderate-income Habitat homebuyers like Idalia.

LHC has reduced the costs typically associated with a Habitat homeownership project, which will allow Habitat Capital Region to serve more people in need of a decent place to live more quickly. Idalia’s is the first home being rehabbed and sold through this new partnership.

“This collaboration with Lansing Housing Commission is preserving homes in Lansing and allowing us to create first-time homeownership opportunities faster and more cost-effectively than building from the ground up. We're changing more lives as a result of our collective efforts,” said Brent Taylor, President & CEO of Habitat Capital Region.

“LHC is excited to partner with Habitat Capital Region to provide homeownership opportunities in Lansing. Through the hard work and creativity between these two organizations, we are making homeownership a reality. We are committed to this partnership and working together to improve lives and build wealth with low-income households in our community,” said Doug Fleming, Executive Director of Lansing Housing Commission.

Idalia closed on her home in August.

Idalia completing sweat equity