Ronica always dreamed of having her own home. A safe space for her to spend time with her family in a community she felt connected with. However, as a single woman working in custodial services, she knew it would be a challenge to do this on her own. Ronica was able to make her dream a reality thanks to a collaboration between Midlands Housing Trust Fund and Central South Carolina (CSC) Habitat for Humanity. With the help of these organizations, Ronica and her daughter moved into their new home this past July.
Midlands Housing Trust Fund (MHTF) works to create and preserve quality, affordable housing by offering collateralized loans to organizations and individuals. Created as an initiative of the United Way of the Midlands in 2010, MHTF is a public-private funding partnership that works through financing, technical assistance and advocacy of housing projects. These projects include predevelopment, acquisition, construction, project and tenant-based rental assistance, rehabilitation and permanent financing. MHTF focuses on helping people who struggle to secure housing, including individuals who work at low wage jobs, or have disabilities and other special needs.
In partnership with CSC Habitat for Humanity, MHTF helped rehabilitate a house for Ronica to call her own. MHTF contributed $11,000 to the project, funding half of the home’s rehabilitation. Ronica’s home is one of three homes MHTF has helped sponsor since their partnership began with CSC Habitat for Humanity in September of last year.
One of the benefits of Ronica’s new home is having a safe and stable environment in which to raise her eight-month-old daughter. Before moving, she lived in a large, congested area that was noisy and often disrupted by conflict. Ronica says her new neighborhood is quiet and calm, and she feels blessed to be a part of this community.
“I feel like I’m in a real home, something of my own,” she said. “It’s more peaceful, I don’t have to worry about so many other things anymore. I can come and go when I want, and I just love it. I feel so comfortable.”
In addition to having her home, Ronica is also thankful for all of the hands-on homeowner skills she gained as a volunteer working on the construction site. As part of CSC Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program, recipients have to contribute anywhere from 350 to 500 hours of service with the organization either on construction sites, in the office, in the Habitat Store or through participation in the Family Support program.
“You’re not just doing your hours, you’re going out there to learn too,” Ronica said. “You’re starting a home and you need to learn how to take care of it.”
After years of hard work, Ronica now has a great home in a wonderful neighborhood.
“Having my own home is something I’ve always wanted,” Ronica said. “A place where my family can come to visit, a space for us to get together on holidays and have fun with each other. Now actually having a place to call my own gives me the freedom and space to do this.”
For more information about Midlands Housing Trust Fund, please visit www.midlandshousing.org.