The Avila/Guzman Family

For the past five years, Antonio Avila and Guadalupe Guzman have lived in a three-bedroom apartment with their 23 year-old son, Marco, and two younger daughters. Antonio is a laborer, Marco is a machine operator while Guadalupe stays at home to raise the children. While the apartment is very small for a family of five, the biggest problem with their home has to do with their health. The family has developed respiratory problems due to the mildew that grows in several areas of the apartment. Closets are infected by mold, creating holes in the walls and often causing clothes to have to be thrown away.

“The mildew is really bad in all the rooms,” said Antonio. “During rainy days I have to move furniture away from the walls because it gets wet and our apartment manager never does anything to solve this problem.”

Along with mold, the bathroom and ceiling leak on a regular basis and the windows cannot be locked, creating a constant cold draft. Despite all the issues that the apartment has, the landlord told the family if they were going to complain, they should just move out.

The family learned about Habitat’s homeownership program through their youngest daughter’s Head Start teacher and decided to apply. After they received the acceptance call, the family of five was overjoyed with the thoughts of their new future. Antonio and Guadalupe hope their new home will resolve the children’s respiratory problems and be a stable home for the whole family.

“This new home will help us be more organized and responsible,” said Antonio. “It will allow my kids to have a bright future and go to college.”

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