When Hamza finished his 60 hours of sweat equity for Habitat Metro Denver’s homeownership program, he kept his construction helmet. He wears it when he tells his young children the story of how their family purchased a home at Habitat’s Miller Homes community in Wheat Ridge.
“When they are older, I will wear the helmet to tell them about helping to build homes and everything I learned in the online classes,” shares Hamza. “It wasn’t easy, but I will tell them that we are really grateful to Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver for helping us.”
Hamza and his wife, Karima, live in a two-bedroom apartment in Westminster with their daughter, age 3, and their son, age 2 months. They are both from Sudan, met through friends, and have lived in Colorado for 11 years.
Hamza is a pharmacy operations manager and Karima is a full-time mother. The couple want to send their children to college, but their current $2,100 monthly rent doesn’t leave money for a college savings account or a traditional mortgage with a hefty down payment.
A friend told them about Habitat and they applied. Their mortgage through Habitat will be about 30% of their gross monthly income.
“Our mortgage will be less that our rent,” Hamza shares. “We are looking forward to saving money for our future.”
As part of his sweat equity hours in Habitat’s homeownership process, Hamza worked at the Arvada Habitat ReStore, unloading donations, breaking up boxes, and sorting plumbing fixtures.
“We will get some of the things we need for our new home at the ReStore. We are making lists of what we will need,” shares Karima.
The couple also took Habitat classes to learn about property taxes, homeowners insurance, water and sewer bills, basic home repairs, and how to be good neighbors.
“This is a good opportunity to own a home that we appreciate.” shares Hamza.
“We had a really nice conversation with our next door neighbors and they have kids too. We are looking forward to getting along,” Karima shared.
In their homeownership classes, the couple also learned how to take care of a yard and what kinds of plants grow in Colorado.
“I will cut the lawn and shovel the snow. I can’t grow mangoes here, but I can grow apples,” shares Hamza. “This is a good opportunity to own a home that we appreciate.”