Habitat houses offer the stability of a permanent address

Kenneth Bragg and Sarah Howard lived in four different apartments in three years before partnering with Habitat Victoria.

Their last move was in October 2012, when they left an apartment in a dangerous neighborhood and settled in to their own townhome in a Habitat Victoria community. They no longer had black mold in the bedroom. And there has been less stress and worry about making ends meet because they no longer put 60 percent of their income toward rent.

“Living paycheck to paycheck, working hard and feeling like you are getting nowhere is a scary feeling,” says Howard. They felt certain they wouldn’t be able to buy a nice house for their family for at least 20 years without both of them taking on multiple jobs. She says that was “a very unsettling thought.”

“It was very emotionally stressful on both of us,” Bragg remembers. “We were always wondering when we were going to have to move again and how we were going to save up enough money to be able to.”

Now, they have financial stability as well as a permanent home of their own. Planning for the future no longer means looking for their next apartment. They are building equity in their own property and can focus on their careers and family life. Kenneth is a certified cook, and Sarah is building a home-based sales business.

“It has made everything easier,” Bragg says. “We do think of our future differently now, as we are actually able to save money.”

That future includes saving money for 4-year-old daughter Kailyn. “Now we have the wiggle room to save for the future and to save money for our daughter’s education,” says Howard. “That is what this is about — it’s all for her.”

He’s got their numbers

Volunteer Ken Sarkis makes address plates for new Habitat Philadelphia houses. His way of helping gives homeowners a beautiful reminder of the stability that comes with owning a simple, decent, affordable home.

Multiple moves, lifelong impact

Multiple moves in childhood can have lifelong impact, as evidenced by higher rates of adverse childhood events, lower global health ratings in adulthood, and increased mental health and behavior concerns lasting through adolescence and into adulthood. — Children’s Health Watch