Building a Home with Niela

 
 

“…it makes me really happy and see my son smile. It warms my heart that I can show him my hard work and dedication. As long as we give hard work and dedication, anything is possible.”

New Habitat homeowner Niela is very excited to move into her Diamond Park home on January 12, 2019.

Niela works as a patient coordinator at the dental office of the University of Pennsylvania, and learned about the Homeownership Program through a co-worker in 2016. It was time to search for more affordable housing for her and her son, Nylan. In a few short days, her home dedication will mark the end of her journey with Habitat, but will be the start of new beginnings for her family.

Rent in the Philadelphia apartment where Niela and Nylan previously lived was more expensive than Habitat’s monthly mortgage payment. Niela knew that she had a better opportunity for her and her son at hand.  Not only is it more affordable, but also provides her son a stable home environment which Niela says “gives him structure for the future.”

Through 350 hours of sweat equity, Niela built her home. She especially enjoyed the hours working on the construction site. “I met new people and learned new trades like putting floors down. It was a great experience because I am learning skills that will help me keep up with my house as well.” Niela enjoyed the hands-on work because she got to see her home develop little by little.

“I found it so amazing from beginning to the end. You start by seeing the framework go up, and now I see my home.”

This Saturday at 3pm, Niela and Nylan will turn the key to their home. Just a few days later, Nylan will celebrate his 7th birthday in his new home. “He is very excited, and it makes me really happy and see my son smile,” says Niela. “It warms my heart that I can show him my hard work and dedication. As long as we give hard work and dedication, anything is possible.”