Meet Four New Habitat LA Homeowners in Montebello

On Wednesday, June 28, 2017, we happily dedicated four new, affordable and sustainable homes in Montebello, by blessing each home and presenting these four hardworking families with the keys to their new homes.  The homes were built in partnership with the City of Montebello and Partnership Housing, along with the generous support of Bank of America, the Habitat LA Catholic Coalition, and Grifols.

For these four families, the journey to homeownership included trainings and classes through Habitat LA’s Family Investment Program, as well as completing 500 hours of sweat equity building their own home and the homes of other future homeowners. Each family has good credit and will pay back a zero-equivalent mortgage, ultimately providing them with the foundation for strength and stability for their future. These homes are two story units with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Additionally, each house includes a number of green features including drought tolerant landscaping, electric car charging ports, energy-efficient heating, insulation made from recycled content, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and solar ready systems.

We proudly introduce our four new Habitat LA partner homeowners!

The Duarte Family
Ivania and her three children were living in a 2 bd apartment, which posed health risks due to poor plumbing and proximity to nearby waste management and electrical plants. Ivania works as an eligibility worker in public social services and enjoys helping people in her community. Over the past eight and a half years, she has worked her way up from clerical clerk to her current administrative role.  All three children play volleyball. Janelle and Miguel also play rugby and soccer in an after school program.  Gissel loves learning about the environment and would like to become a marine biologist. Janelle has a passion for art and animals. Miguel enjoys math and would like to design his own video game someday.  Ivania is grateful for the service of Habitat LA staff and volunteers and cannot wait to move into their new home.

The Jefferson Family
U.S. Navy veteran Maria Jefferson is a single mother of two, in her words, “amazing teenagers,” Briana, 17, and Bryan, 15. After her  military duty, Maria struggled due to the fluctuating economy and competitive job  market and currently is only able to afford a two-bedroom apartment in a complex that has fallen into disrepair. For the past three years, Maria has worked full-time for Los Angeles County as a senior typist clerk and also stays busy with her children’s school activities. Briana is a competitive dancer with aspirations to become an engineer and is a member of her school’s Architecture & Engineering club as well as the Spanish club. Bryan is a talented artist who started playing the flute five years ago and is currently part of the honor band. They are both straight-A, academy educated, accomplished teens whose favorite subject is math. Maria’s goal is that once they head off to college, she too will join them and return to complete her education, allowing her to advance in her career. Maria has eagerly worked alongside Habitat LA staff and volunteers to help build her home knowing this is a life-changing journey for her family.

The Limon Family
Derek and his wife, Lynsie, are newlyweds who currently live in a one-bedroom apartment with inadequate space to start a family. Derek and Lynsie are excited to purchase their first home, which will make them the first in their families to      become homeowners. They look forward to having the space they need to raise their future children. Derek is the Youth Pastor at Calvary Chapel Montebello, where he has worked for five years. Lynsie is currently in school and working towards earning her degree in Intercultural Development. They have both been active volunteers in their church for more than eight years, where they have also participated in the mission field. Derek and Lynsie have greatly enjoyed working with Habitat LA staff and volunteers on their sweat equity hours.

The Ramos Family
Benito and Frances live in East Los Angeles with their two sons, Luke and Levi. They have outgrown the house they have lived in for the last eight years, which is also in need of several repairs.  They are excited to own a more spacious home where they can homeschool their boys and invite friends and family over. Benito works as a payroll specialist so that Frances can stay at home to care for Levi and Luke. They are active members of Calvary Chapel in Montebello where they lead support groups for single parents. Luke has played sports from the time he was twenty months old.  He plays basketball, soccer, tee ball, gymnastics, and practices karate.  Levi loves to dance and play with the many instruments they have in their home. The Ramos family has been extremely touched by the joy and positivity they have experienced from the Habitat LA staff while working on their sweat equity hours and cannot wait to move into their new home.   

Colegrove Avenue collage