Habitat for Humanity hits milestone in Southwood project
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Digging up dreams and turning them into realities is what Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville is doing.
Dan Rosensweig, the organization's CEO and president, says the foundation of two Southwood homes are finally underway in the 20-year long project.
"This is super exciting," Rosensweig said.
Seventy houses will be built by the end of 2023 and 40 of them will belong to Habitat for Humanity families.
Lourdes Lopez is one of the many who will be living in the development once it’s complete.
"I feel a lot of emotion. People used to say this isn't going to happen, but now I know I'm going to live here,” Lopez said.
A mother of five, Lopez says she's stumbled across a series of setbacks living in a mobile home. Now, she says there's hope on the horizon for her and her family.
"I'm very happy that my children are going to have a legacy, they're going to have a house to live at, and everything's going to happen the way I was expecting," Lopez said.
What's unique about this project is families are being given the chance to design their forever homes with zero interest rates.
Community and Family Services Specialist Patricio Hermosilla, who assists families in the homebuyer process, says many don't understand how a mortgage works. He says language is also a barrier.
Despite these obstacles, he says it's been a rewarding feeling.
"To witness their excitement about picking a lot, and seeing their dreams become a reality for them," Hermosilla said.
Rosensweig says the long-term goal is to build 1,100 Southwood homes and to give families what so many others take for granted, a roof over their heads.
"We just can't wait for this to turn from a construction site to a glorious neighborhood where kids of all walks of lives can play together, where families can celebrate their futures together," Rosensweig said.