Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

Anonymous Habitat Homeowner, 20 Years Later

Habitat homes are built to last — that being said, even the most thoughtfully designed home will need periodic upkeep. We recently completed repairs on a Habitat home we built 20 years ago. The home needed reroofing, a new coat of paint, and some other minor repairs, but overall has held up nicely for a home two decades into its life.

Prior to moving into their Habitat home, the family (who wishes to remain anonymous) lived in a 2 bedroom rental and did painting, electrical, landscaping, and other work on the property in exchange for deduction off the monthly rent. They first heard about the Habitat program through their cousins, who are also Habitat homebuyers. “We decided to apply, really not expecting that we would be chosen! After we built our home, we helped with 3 other Habitat homes.”

All Habitat home buyers agree to complete 500 hours of sweat equity working on their own home and others to qualify for the program. “Being involved in the building of our home was so rewarding,” the family said. “ I don’t think a lot of people who do build their home are able to actually be involved in the nitty gritty of it all, so that was a great experience for us. We did a Blitz Build where the main structure of the home was done in one weekend, it was awesome!” 

They also enjoyed being able to help build homes for other Habitat families, and wanted to encourage others to volunteer. “It is very rewarding helping other families. I have not volunteered in quite some time, something I am looking forward to getting back to, but when I did, there was always something that I could help with. I wasn’t the strongest or the fastest worker, but I was able to get stuff done. The more help, the better!”

As affordable housing continues to be in short supply locally, the family is grateful for their Habitat home. When asked about the positive impacts of homeownership, they said, “Mainly just having the stability and not having to worry about housing, especially in recent years as the housing situation in Whatcom County is almost at crisis levels.” They encourage Whatcom County families to apply for the Habitat program. “I never thought that my family would be chosen, but I guess it was all a part of God’s plan, and that could be the same for your family.”

With the recent repairs complete, we are confident the home is ready for the next 20 years. While the family was diligent in doing their own upkeep and repairs, they reached out to Habitat once they realized they couldn’t resolve the problems on their own. “Being a homeowner does come with costs, especially when things come up unexpectedly, or one thing breaks, leading to another and another. While we have done some upgrades and upkeep . . . in our home, some other things came up that caused more damage, like a leaking roof that was patched many times. By getting all of the items fixed and bringing our home back up to code, I feel like it is safer and livable for many years to come.”

There are many ways to bring affordable housing to our community and every hand makes a difference!

Skip to content