Future homeowners Getachew and Tsega with their boys.

Not long ago, the idea of owning a home of their own seemed out of reach for James and Maya. They yearned for the security a home would provide for themselves and their daughter, but prices kept climbing higher and higher.

Today, James and Maya are one of five hardworking Greater Boston families whose dream of affordable homeownership is becoming a reality.

“A home gives our family stability and joy,” James said. “It means the future is brighter.”

The five families cannot wait to get started partnering with Habitat Greater Boston’s staff and volunteers to build their future homes in Malden.

In the coming weeks, these families will wrap up the orientation process and get to work on contributing between 250 and 300 hours of sweat equity. They will also start classes to prepare them for all the responsibilities and opportunities that come with homeownership.

While we could not be happier to welcome these incredible families into the homeownership program, the selection process offered a stark reminder of the enormous toll that the housing crisis is having on our region. More than 80 families throughout Greater Boston applied for these five homes.

With continued support, we are planning to welcome seven more families into our homeownership program this year. Together, we can do even more to confront the housing crisis and help as many families as possible to access affordable homeownership right here in Greater Boston.


Everything you always wanted to know about our family selection process:

Applications: When Habitat Greater Boston begins building new homes, our Homeowner Services staff members promote new homeownership opportunities in local communities. Families interested in participating in the program are encouraged to formally apply to be a partner with us. Our staff reviews the applications to see if families are eligible based on their work income, need for stable housing, and willingness to participate in first-time homeownership classes and complete 250 to 300 hours volunteering on the build site of their own home or that of other families.

Virtual interviews: Our staff and volunteer Homeowner Selection Committee members schedule virtual interviews with families eligible to participate to get to know them and explain the homeownership program further.

Home visits: Staff and Homeowner Selection Committee members visit with families at their homes to meet them in person, discuss the program requirements in more detail, and answer any remaining questions.

Lottery: All families are entered into a lottery in which names are chosen at random for each of the units that will be built. Eligible families who are not selected are encouraged to reapply for a future opening.

Board approval: Following the lottery, Habitat Greater Boston’s Board of Directors meets to give final approval of the selection of families.