Friends, family members, and supporters welcomed two families to new homes they helped build in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Greater Boston in Mission Hill on Nov. 18. The sustainable and affordable homes represent opportunities for greater stability and a brighter future for the families, as well as an investment into the neighborhood.
Habitat Greater Boston hosted the dedication to recognize the completion of the two-family home and welcome the families: Abdi, Hodan, and their four children on one side and Justine, her mother and two daughters on the other.
Attendees at the celebration included Sheila Dillon, Boston’s chief of housing; District 8 City Councilor Sharon Durkan, who represents the neighborhood; and Maddrey Goode, chief of staff for the city’s Office of Black Advancement. Supporters who donated time and funding for the project also joined, as well as two families who are currently building their future homes with Habitat Greater Boston in Malden.
“We’re here to celebrate the hard work that Abdi, Hodan, and Justine put into making this a reality. We’re very honored to have you as our partners.” Habitat Greater Boston President and CEO Jim Kostaras said. “Homeownership is not just about having a place to live. It brings greater stability and a pathway to generational wealth.”
The Mission Hill project includes two four-bedroom units built using eco-friendly materials. Each unit features bay windows, skylights, and views of the Boston skyline.
By partnering with Habitat Greater Boston, the two families will be able to build generational wealth and enjoy the security of a home of their own without having to worry about being displaced from their communities, friends, relatives, or schools due to unaffordable rent or inadequate living conditions.
“I’m still dreaming,” Justine told the crowd. “If it weren’t for all of you, I don’t know where I’d be – still struggling. But the blessing came, and we took the opportunity.”
Together, Justine, Abdi, and Hodan spent more than 550 hours working alongside Habitat Greater Boston staff and volunteers to build their home. They held on through multiple delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic before construction wrapped up in the summer, never losing sight of their goal of becoming homeowners.
Each family received a zero-interest 30-year mortgage with payments set at 30% of their gross monthly income. Additionally, the partner families completed a series of first-time homebuyer courses to prepare them for the responsibilities and opportunities of homeownership.
“I’m really grateful for what you’ve done for me and my family,” Abdi said. “I think all of you from the bottom of my heart.”
To participate in the homeownership program, families must meet eligibility criteria based on their income, ability to pay the cost of an affordable mortgage, need for better housing, and willingness to partner with Habitat Greater Boston.
Volunteers contribute about 70% of the labor to build Habitat Greater Boston homes, with the remainder performed by staff and licensed subcontractors. Funding for Habitat Greater Boston homes comes from a network of generous supporters.
Since 1987, Habitat Greater Boston has built more than 120 affordable homes for families with low-to-moderate incomes. Plans for upcoming projects include homes in Roslindale, Dorchester, and Weston.