Madera family becomes first-time homeowners with help of Habitat for Humanity

MADERA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Keys handed to the Alvarez family Monday unlock the door to their new home in Madera.

It's the first home the family has owned.

"I don't have words to say how happy I am, but I'm very happy, very emotional," said Christina Alvarez.

Alvarez, her son Christian, his wife, Christa and their 1-year-old son, Alexander, will be moving in.

It wasn't long ago that the family found themselves struggling to find housing when their former landlord gave them 60 days notice that the home was going to be sold.

Christina says houses were too expensive to buy and finding a rental within their budget was impossible.

"You cannot find anything," said Christina Alvarez.

So, they turned to Habitat for Humanity.

The Alvarez's were one of five families selected to work toward home ownership.

They qualified for an affordable home loan, and put in hundreds of hours of sweat equity building the place they can now call their own.

"It feels great knowing that I was a part of building the house that I'm about to move into," said Christa Alvarez.

Land on Washington Avenue near Malone Street was donated by the City of Madera, along with $300,000 down payment assistance or $60,000 per low-income homebuyer.

Habitat for Humanity said the organization does this not to give a hand out, but a hand up.

"This builds generational wealth. It impacts their families. It gives their children a safe place to study, to go to school and it really just changes their lives and changes the community as well," said William Splitgerber Jr., the CEO of Habitat for Humanity in the Greater Fresno Area.

The Alvarez's will be responsible for paying the mortgage.

But they say they're thankful they now have a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home they can call their own forever.

They want to give back by letting others know about Habitat for Humanity as well.

"I want everybody to see that it's possible and try to tell people about this, Habitat, because a lot of us we don't know that there is help out there, and I want to share the information," said Christina Alvarez.
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