Habitat Completes Four More Homes, including an ADA home for a mother with a son in a wheelchair

July 17, 2009 (Portland, Ore.)- Robin Smith has waited for this day for a long time. Her son, Andrew, has been in a wheelchair his entire life, and Smith has been working two jobs at times in order to afford the ground-floor townhouse where they had been renting.

“In Portland, there isn’t a whole lot of options on the ground floor, and with Andrew’s condition stairs are impossible.” Robin said. “So the only place I could find was too expensive and didn’t accommodate our needs, but it was ground level so I had to take it.”

Working two jobs to afford rent and pay the bills, daily caring for Andrew, and dealing with a living space ill-equipped for a son with a wheelchair, left little time for Robin to explore options to change their situation.

Robin’s friend told her about Habitat for Humanity, and this winter the construction started on her home at 8116 SE Martins St. in Portland. The home will be ADA compliant, and will be equipped with all the special-needs items for her son, such as a proper bathroom. She has put in 500 sweat equity hours, and will purchase the home with a 0% interest mortgage. Plus her mortgage will be no more than 30% of her income, making it affordable long-term.

“You know, I’ve been so busy it hasn’t been until now that I realized that I won’t have to work two jobs to make rent,” she said. “I’ve never thought about what to do with my time now. Wow! What an amazing feeling that is! That is going to change my life!”

Robin’s home is one of four homes that will be dedicated on Saturday, July 18 at 4 p.m. They are the last four homes of the seven-home community in southeast Portland.

About Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East: Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East serves Multnomah County and northern Clackamas County. No other housing organization in the Portland/Metro East area offers a no-interest mortgage, giving Habitat the ability to reach out to families one step away from homelessness. Habitat sells the homes at cost, making no profit. Houses are sold below market value because of volunteer labor and donations. Families pay a 1% down payment on a 0% interest mortgage. Instead of being in a vulnerable and fragile economic position, Habitat families find themselves in a position of strength.

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