Habitat for Humanity dedicates 255th home | Community Spirit
Spokane's newest homeowners were welcomed to their new South Hill home this afternoon in a touching ceremony.
After a short prayer and dedication ceremony, Habitat for Humanity handed over the keys and a family bible to Siboma Medison and Alphonsine Uwingabire, and their five children.
The family has worked hard to this moment, saving for the closing costs and attending homebuyer readiness training. But before all that, they had to put in 500 hours of sweat equity, actually assisting in the construction of the home that they can now claim as their own.
“Our criteria is really narrow,” said Michone Preston, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Spokane. “We accept families that earn between 25 and 60 percent of the area medium income. Families must also be fairly free of debt and willing to put in the hours of sweat equity.”
Once a family has been chosen, Preston says, the process of fund raising begins. This build was sponsored by Inland Construction & Affinity Living Communities, and managing partner Darin Davidson was honored as part of the dedication.
“Working with Habitat of Spokane to deliver the Medison family house has been an honor for us,” Davidson said. “Habitat for Humanity is an incredible organization and we’re proud to play a small part in furthering its mission to deliver homes to those in need. As we all know, a safe and secure home is vital for parents to be productive members of our community and for children grow up healthy and receive an education and eventually become contributors to society.”
Once the home is complete, Habitat for Humanity originates a mortgage with zero percent interest and sells the home to the family.
“They pay for the house,” Preston said. “But they don't pay interest so there's no profit for Habitat.”
Tuesday's dedication is the 255th home built by Habitat for Humanity Spokane, more than half of them belonging to refugee families like the Medisons.
Sibomana Medison and his wife Alphonsine Uwingabire moved to Spokane as refugees from the Congo four years ago, looking for a safe and stable environment to raise their children. Now with a home of their own, they are looking forward to space for their children to grow and looking towards their future with optimism and hope.
“Very wonderful,” said Sibomana when asked about his new status as a homeowner. “Very, very wonderful. We are so happy.”