The Duhceu/Sung Family

Daniel Duhceu and Christ Sung live with their two young daughters in a two-bedroom apartment on the east side of Portland. Daniel works full-time as a janitor while Christ stays at home to raise their children. Daniel and Christ have dreamed of owning a home ever since their first daughter was born. A big motivator for them was knowing that their children would have a safer, healthier and more solid foundation for learning by growing up in a decent home of their own.

The family’s current apartment has many issues that are unsafe for children. The carpet throughout the apartment is old and frayed, exposing tack strips near the doors. To protect her daughters, Christ routinely places items over the exposed strips. When it comes to making meals, cooking for a family of four becomes a balancing act since there are only two working burners on the stove. The heating system does not work in the living room and will only work on the highest setting in the bedrooms. As a result, the family uses space heaters, fearing that leaving the heat system on would drive up utility bills or even start a fire.

“Becoming a homeowner means better security for my family,” Christ said. “It means that my children will grow up in better conditions than they are living in now.”

The couple tried to search out other places to live, only to find that their options were apartments in the same or worse conditions. Finally, Daniel and Christ applied to the Habitat program after a friend gave them a brochure about affordable homeownership.

“We always wanted to buy a home but never thought it was possible,” Daniel said. “We felt like we would never be able to make enough money because I thought buying a home would cost more than our rent.”

Daniel said his family was very excited when they learned that they were accepted into the Habitat program. With help from a few close members from their community, the family has already earned over 250 hours of sweaty equity. Daniel and Christ look forward to purchasing their Habitat home in Gresham and giving their daughters the opportunity to grow up in a safe home.

“It is huge relief to know that our daughters will be free to play and live in our home instead of being afraid of it,” Christ said.

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