Marlise has lived in subsidized housing for nearly a decade; and, while she’s grateful for the programs that have allowed her to afford housing for her three children, there are things about living in subsidized housing that are difficult.
Marlise’s landlord can enter her apartment at any time – without notice. “It feels like a violation sometimes to go home and see – visibly – that somebody has been in your house,” she said.
As her children get older, space continues to be a challenge – in the small apartment. “My five-year-old, she’s getting bigger now – and she needs her own space. It’s like every room is her room – she has stuff in the living room in my room, in my son’s room. So it’s just like, okay, what are we going to do?”
After looking into a traditional mortgage and learning she that wouldn’t be able to qualify for a home that met her family’s needs, Marlise learned about Habitat. Marlise applied to the Habitat program a few times before being accepted – and her perseverance and determination became part of her personal growth.
“I’m grateful that there were standards because it wasn’t
just a requirement to get in, but it helped me be a better me.
It educated me about my finances about just everything.”
In December of 2019, Habitat broke ground on the Amala Way project – a 12-unit project on the Eastside of Wilmington – where Marlise’s future home is being built.
“After walking around and being able to see visually what we’ll have for us – I keep thinking about what my kids are going to think – and I think that’s what makes me cry,” Marlise said at the groundbreaking ceremony.
“My kids are going to grow up one day – they’re probably not going to live there forever – they’ll go on to do other things. Maybe they’ll travel the world, but they’ll have a home to come back to. I keep that at the forefront of my mind – like I have to do this for them. Because if, for whatever reason, they don’t have the opportunity to do this – they’ll have this.”