Meet Future Homeowners Gloria and Elizabeth
Gloria and Elizabeth are a mother-daughter team and future homeowners of their own Habitat house.
“When my girls were small, we called Lizzy my shadow. And even after growing up, she’s still my shadow,” says Gloria. The mother-daughter duo remain very close. Elizabeth (Lizzy) works full time as a call-operator in addition to taking care of her mom. “You only get a mom once in your lifetime,” Elizabeth shares. Gloria banters back, “And I’m a crazy momma.”
Gloria and Elizabeth are looking forward to a stable and affordable place to live after years of apartment dwelling with ever-increasing rents and fees. “Our apartment managers just don’t fix what they say they’re going to fix,” explains Gloria. Elizabeth goes into more detail, “Light bulbs explode when put in a particular socket because of bad wiring. There’s a stinky sewer smell in the apartment. And cracks around the door let all the heat and air conditioning out – it gets so hot inside we get headaches.”
Elizabeth looked into partnering with Habitat not long after her father passed away. “We took care of him in our apartment after he came home from the hospital. We fed, bathed, and took care of him. Now that he’s not with us anymore, I don’t really go out much,” recalls Gloria. “We need a change and a new place for a new start,” explains Elizabeth.
Elizabeth said she wasn’t accepted the first time she applied due to a low credit score and medical debt. “After using a tax return to pay down my debt, and focusing on getting financially ready to pay for the Habitat program, I applied again.”
Gloria and Elizabeth are both very excited to partner with Habitat to build and purchase a home of their own. “It’s the first time we’ve had a house that’s ours, but my dad did everything in construction – plumbing, roofing, everything – and my mom was always there to help him. We’ll be able to take care of our own place,” says Elizabeth. “We’re excited to fix our yard up and let our dogs play outside. We’ll be able to sit outside and enjoy it.”
“We met a couple moving into their Habitat home and they were nice enough to show us around. And we got really excited to see what it looks like finished,” Elizabeth says with a smile. Gloria specifies, “I got excited because there were so many cabinets in the kitchen. I’ve been putting my pots and pans in my closet and using my guest closet as a pantry because I have no space in my apartment kitchen.”
They’re also looking forward to having an affordable mortgage that will help them gain financial stability. “I want to save up for a new truck,” Elizabeth says as she contemplates her budget. “Without such high rent, I think we could starting thinking about things we wouldn’t be able to do before like saving for retirement.” Gloria adds, “We’d like to be able to go out to eat together occasionally.”
Construction on Elizabeth and Gloria’s house begins in October, but they are already working on their sweat equity hours at the ReStore and attending homeownership classes. Gloria excitedly explains, “I have a big calendar to keep us on schedule. We want to get everything done before our house goes under construction.” Elizabeth adds, “I work full time at my job, and Habitat on Saturday, so I’m working 6 days a week.”
Gloria and Elizabeth’s dedication to their Habitat partnership extends beyond building their own home. Elizabeth recalls an old conversation, “I was talking with my mom about winning the lottery and asked what she would do if she won. She said she’d pay off her Habitat house, then give the rest back to Habitat to help someone else that needs it.”
“That’s how my husband was,” says Gloria. “He would help anyone he could. He would have been so happy to help us build our Habitat house.”To everyone who supports building Habitat homes, Elizabeth and Gloria say, “We are so thankful to everyone who helps – volunteers, donors, everyone. Habitat has made us really happy these days.”