I told you around this time last year that my family was getting a Habitat for Humanity house, an ADA compliant house that my son in a wheelchair would be able to get around in. Well, it turns out we’re not. When we applied, we told them that we would only qualify financially for eighteen months. They obviously accepted us knowing that. Their program was eighteen months and it all seemed to align perfectly. My husband was in an eighteen-month master’s degree program. Afterwards, he would be working. He would earn more money and push us over the edge of the low-income limit placed on families to qualify for a house.
We were told last year that we shouldn’t plan on our house taking the full eighteen months because they were “getting houses done in a year.” Why they would say that to us when it was so obviously untrue, I have no idea. Even this spring we were told the house would likely be complete this summer because a contractor was going to do it and could get it done within three months.
After hearing nothing all summer and Habitat not calling our required quarterly meeting (again), my husband called a meeting to find out what was going on. He was told that next September was the earliest possible that the house could be done.
When my husband’s final course is finished in December, he’s not going to refrain from working more so we can stay poor enough to qualify for a home. I’m sure you can support us in that decision!
Of course, that doesn’t all of a sudden give us enough money to buy a house; even if it did, there’s no such house on the market. We were going to be getting a brand-new one-level home with four bedrooms, ADA compliant, and something that really excited me – solar panels. It was going to cost around $100,000 for us which we could pay interest free.
We have no debt, so an interest-free mortgage felt much better to us than a traditional one. Still, we were planning to pay it off as fast as possible, though we recently learned that Habitat would own part of the equity on our home for 30 years. We didn’t like knowing it wouldn’t really be ours.
Our current home is my childhood home, which growing up housed just four people, now it holds ten. We live with my parents. The house is on three floors and the changes in flooring between rooms and the cramped space make it so my son in a wheelchair can’t go more than a few feet before he needs help. His special toilet is in the basement (just over a bucket), so he can’t get to the bathroom on his own.
Because my son gets no practice at home getting himself around (he’s working on learning to use a walker), we send him to school. He went to a reverse-mainstream preschool, and now he goes to a mainstream kindergarten class. Thankfully, we’re in a top school district. He gets therapies several days a week at school, but we of course desire to have him home. We were planning to start homeschooling him once we moved into that Habitat house that’s now not going to happen.
So, in some ways my heart is broken. I’ve wanted my own home for the last twenty years. It’s something I had to give up to serve overseas. But now I want it for my child. He wants to chase his brothers around. He can’t. If we had the space, he’d be able to follow them around in his wheelchair. Right now, he’s carried around the house mostly. Obviously, that’s not sustainable.
At the same time, this is a great place to be, reliant on nothing but the grace of God.