An Answered Prayer for Betty
Habitat Omaha’s Home Repair Program allows local senior to stay in her home
Betty’s home has been like a family member for more than 35 years; she has lived there. It was the first stop when her grandson came home from the hospital 33 years ago and a place where other joyous family milestones have been celebrated.
In March 2020, Betty’s white house with green trim had a big problem: a leaky roof. “Every time it rained, it was raining in (my home),” Betty said. Water leaked into her living room and upstairs for nearly a year. Whenever it rained, she placed large pots in each room to capture the water until it stopped.
One day she found a Habitat Omaha flyer on her door. Then she heard about Habitat Omaha’s programs at a meeting for seniors and from a coworker. Habitat Omaha seemed to be all around her organization, a call and learn more about the work we do. She was then put in contact with the home repair department.
Betty was able to prove she had the ability to repay the loan, and that her property taxes were current. She also provided proof of owning her home. Having this information allowed her to be accepted into the program. She signed the loan paperwork, and within three days, contractors were already working on her house. “It was a crying day for me. What I asked the Lord for it was coming to pass”, Betty said.
Betty’s leaky roof was getting the much-needed care it needed, but Betty was also relieved that the home repair program would provide her with a no-interest loan. After being in the workforce for 58 years, Betty is 75 and works 15 hours a week doing janitorial work at a south Omaha business. Before finding the home repair program, she thought the only option to fund these repairs was refinancing her home. She only has one mortgage on her current house and didn’t want an extra payment that would be hard for her to manage.
By being accepted into the Habitat Omaha repair program, she only has to pay a second mortgage of $57 a month for these repairs on top of her regular mortgage. “ I didn’t want to refinance and have that interest rate. It [The second mortgage] was something I could still manage, and I appreciate that too,” Betty said.
Betty was able to make her first payment on her home repair loan in Oct. 2022. Now instead of worrying about pulling her pots out to catch the rain coming into her home during a midnight rainstorm. Betty can enjoy her home again. “If you can stay in your own home, (Being able to live in my home) helps to make it affordable. Rent is very high”, said Betty. These home repairs breathed new life into her home, so she can enjoy it for many more years to come.