Habitat Omaha Home Repair Services Help Single Mom Have ‘Peace of Mind’

December 4, 2023

Her financial investment with Habitat Omaha’s zero-interest loan helped turn anHabitat Omaha Home Repair Services Help Single Mom Have ‘Peace of Mind’

For Tara, a single mother’s primary duty is to her children. Many times, and in Tara’s case, expenses associated with home repairs take second place.

We all know those expenses and repairs can add up and lead to more repairs. But how do you justify taking away from your children’s needs, especially when you are living paycheck to paycheck? The short answer is that “you don’t.”

Tara’s investment in her children is paying off. Her son is an infantry Marine, and her daughter is a scholarship student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. However, her modest Sarpy County home in Bellevue was not faring as well.

She had damage to her front porch from a 2017 tornado that wasn’t covered by insurance, and her wooden lap siding was rotting and falling off. She also had a backyard tree threatening further damage to her home and a deck that needed minor repairs.

With such a list, Tara had no idea where to start or how she would pay for it.

The answer began with her doing her job as a membership manager for a local association. Part of her job is to regularly reach out to its members. Habitat for Humanity of Omaha is a member, and the contact she called was Ken Mar, Habitat Omaha’s area county director.

In explaining the benefits of the association to Ken, Tara learned about Habitat Omaha’s Home Repair program. The program helps qualified families receive a no-interest loan to help pay for much-needed repairs, allowing the homeowners to spread the expense over multiple years. The program’s purpose is to help families maintain their homes, keep neighborhoods vibrant and protect affordable housing in communities.

“I was like, Wow!” she said. Tara went to the website in the spring of 2022, did her own research and applied to repair her porch. “It was a safety hazard. It had been continually falling apart, and I needed help.”

Tara said she had never done any construction or remodeling on her home. “So, I was a little scared about the process. I was a little worried about trusting someone.” Those worries ended quickly when the Home Repair crew arrived, she said. “I loved when I met with Habitat. Those guys were with me through the whole process. It was great because I didn’t have to do it (remodeling) alone.”

The work didn’t stop with the porch. Tara discovered she could replace her wooden siding with vinyl siding to make her home more energy efficient. The workers also trimmed up the tree and did some deck repairs. “Things I didn’t realize I could do,” she added.

The work on the 25-year-old house she has owned for 10 years began in November 2022 and was completed during the summer of 2023. Her financial investment with Habitat Omaha’s zero-interest loan helped turn an embarrassment and safety hazard into a “super cute house,” she said. “I’m very proud of my home.”

But the relationship didn’t end with the one-year warranted repairs to her home. Instead, it will continue to the next generation and beyond, Tara added.

She attended a Habitat Omaha Transfer on Death Deed clinic that helped her get her homeownership paperwork in order to benefit her son and daughter. “Being a single mom, I wanted to make sure if anything happens to me, it (home) could go to my children, and I would not have to worry.”

Tara’s home is back to being the same great home she worked hard to purchase for herself and her kids, but with an added benefit, she said. “To be able to do those things to my home gave me peace of mind.”

 

Interested in Home Repair? Click here. Interested in our next Transfer on Death Deed clinic? Click here.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive updates from Habitat for Humanity of Omaha.