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Housing advocates and Habitat supporters gathered together on December 7th to celebrate all the hands who were involved in making this 15-home community a reality. Homebuyers, volunteers, donors, home sponsors, and legislators sat side-by-side on a cold morning and—despite the rain—warmth radiated throughout the entire space.

“We’re here to celebrate the completion of these homes,” Steve Messinetti, Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East President and CEO, said to the onlooking crowd. “But what we’re really here to celebrate is the 5,000 people who contributed to making these homes possible.”

Thank you to every homebuyer for partnering with us and collectively putting in 4,000 hours of “sweat equity” building each other’s homes; thank you to each volunteer for building alongside one another; to our donors, home sponsors, and community partners, thank you for supporting our mission; and to our construction staff, we are so thankful for your patience, dedication, and commitment to building permanently affordable communities throughout Portland.

Affordable housing champion, Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer, echoed thanks and highlighted Habitat’s continued efforts to push for sound housing policy throughout the state.

“It’s not just what they do on the ground through building community partnerships and homes you see here, it’s through their advocacy work as well,” she said. “Without their support of HB2001, the homes you see here wouldn’t be possible.

It’s policies like HB2001 and the North/Northeast Preference Policy that help longtime Portlanders live and work here. This couldn’t be more true for Habitat homebuyer, Ronisha, who was pushed out of the city due to rent increases. Now, instead of commuting from Washington, she will reunite with her family in the same neighborhood she grew up in.

“Thank you for making it possible for me and my children to return to inner Northeast Portland where I was raised, Ronisha said. “This is a great opportunity. Thank you, you’ve made my dreams come true to be able to come back and live in the city that I love.”

As eight new homeowners and their families received engraved hammers, their home sponsors wished them well. Mark Miller of NW Pump, who’ve sponsored three Habitat homes in partnership with us, joined Heather, James and their family on stage.

“Our wish for you and your new home is that you find a safe and clean environment for you family, stability and education for your children, a friendly community of families in this Habitat neighborhood,” he said. “From everyone at NW Pump, congratulations on your new home.”

Soon, Heather,James, and Ronisha will join nearly 50 of their new neighbors in making Cully Place their own. We are so excited for them to move in soon and celebrate their new lives together.

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