On May 30, 2020, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) hosted our first-ever physical distancing event, with a Welcome Home Caravan! With over 75 cars in attendance, this event celebrated Habitat LA’s 1,000th home built or repaired in the greater Los Angeles area and six hardworking families moving into their new Habitat LA homes in Culver City.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced Habitat LA to cancel our long-standing tradition of in-person home dedication ceremonies. But that didn’t stop us from rejoicing in the last step of six families’ homeownership journey – a housewarming. “Despite these changes with COVID-19, our commitment has never been clearer,” shared Erin Rank, President and CEO, Habitat LA. “During this time of social distancing, we are still focused on our mission and that’s why we are so excited to welcome six new families to affordable homeownership.”
For over 30 years, Habitat LA has built homes, hope and communities. With the support of community partners, donors and volunteers, Habitat LA constructs new or renovates existing homes alongside Habitat partner homebuyers. The journey to homeownership for the Ko, Mulvihill, Park, Powell, Snyder and Wu families was extra special because it represented changing a construction site to a community, and how we are better, together.
The Mulvihill family, Habitat homeowners of Habitat LA’s 1,000th home, were excited to welcome supporters along the route. “To know that every single day, every single step was done with somebody thinking about getting us here [new home] it really has been a wonderful journey.” Kaoru Mulvihill graciously expressed.
The single-family homes are part of a 10-home neighborhood located on Globe Avenue. The homes were built with the help of over 20,000 volunteers who put in 150,000 hours building alongside the Ko, Mulvihill, Park, Powell, Snyder and Wu families. The caravan allowed many of the community members who donated time, financial or civic support, to welcome each family home by waving and cheering at a safe distance. The route went through the heart of the Culver City neighborhood, with cars decorated with festive signs, balloons, pom poms and more.
The land, formerly occupied by Cal Trans during the 405 freeway expansion, was donated to Habitat LA by Culver City. Additionally, the homes were made possible from site sponsorships from City National Bank, Chico’s FAS, Habitat LA Catholic Coalition, Habitat LA Lutheran Coalition, Habitat LA Presbyterian Coalition, Kylie Cosmetics, Los Angeles Westside Church Coalition, Lowe’s Companies, Mosaic LA and Thrivent Financial, as well as donations from Bank of America, Doty Bros. Construction, Deutsch Inc., Grifols, Habitat LA Jewish Coalition, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Trigger, Whirlpool and many more.
The journey to homeownership included trainings and classes through Habitat LA’s Family Investment Program, as well as completing up to 500 hours of sweat equity building their own home and the homes of other future homeowners. Each family will pay back an affordable mortgage, ultimately providing them with the foundation for strength and stability for their future.
The two stories homes are 1,300 square feet with 3 beds/2 baths. Each house has 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. Additionally, half of the homes are ADA accessible, focusing on Habitat’s vision where everyone has a safe and decent place to live.
Check out pictures from our Welcome Home Caravan here!