The Mansaye Family stand in front of their new home, made possible by Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia, community volunteers, and corporate sponsors.
Two families achieved their dream of building and owning their own home, thanks to Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia (Habitat NOVA). On Sept. 18 the Mansaye and Omar families were joined by more than 90 volunteers, Habitat NOVA board members and staff, project partners, and guests in celebration of their newly completed homes.
Dan Storck, supervisor for the Mount Vernon District of Fairfax County, served as guest speaker.
The new homes were designed pro bono by Sanchez Palmer Architects & Triad Engineering. Key corporate partners included E*TRADE, The Stafford Foundation, Capital One, Leidos, Inc., Wells Fargo, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and Bean, Kinney & Korman, P.C.
Community volunteers worked more than 1,500 hours over the course of 19 months to build the two Clayborne Avenue homes. In addition, each family completed 400 hours in "sweat equity" to finalize the construction. Built to EarthCraft Gold standards, each house is energy-efficient while maintaining long-term affordability. The homes are also Habitat NOVA's first construction projects to feature solar panels.
"More than just addresses of our latest construction project - to our two families, these are the most beautiful homes in the world," said Jon Smoot, executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Northern Virginia. "The Mansaye and Omar families earned the right to own these homes. They worked so hard to establish great credit. They have long, solid, good work histories showing their ability to repay our zero-interest, 30-year mortgage. In addition, they poured hundreds and hundreds of hours into hands-on building of their homes."
Storck underscored the necessity of more affordable housing in the region and how Habitat NOVA leads that effort. "Along with Supervisor Jeff McKay [Lee District, Fairfax County], I deeply believe in providing people opportunities to live, work, and play and be part of this community. Habitat for Humanity NOVA is a key facilitator, a key organization helping to make that happen. I'm thankful for them and their work."
For Amna Mansaye, Sunday's celebration marks a milestone in fulfilling her family's goal toward greater stability and resilience. "I want to thank Habitat NOVA, the volunteers, and the donors for helping my family achieve the 'American Dream.' This home is an investment in my family and in our future."