Spotlight on Habitat’s Repairs Program: Lula

Lula has lived in her home in south Seattle for nearly thirty years. Her parents originally purchased the home and Lula moved in with her then, toddler-aged daughter. The house has become the center of Lula’s family – the place where she raised her daughter and has fostered friendships for almost three decades. Lula hopes to live in her home forever and one day pass it down to her own daughter, just like her parents passed the house down to her.

However, with her daughter currently living in Atlanta and while living on a fixed-income and getting older, maintaining and staying in her home had become challenging for Lula. Her roof needed to be replaced, there was dry-rot on her deck, and there were numerous “side” projects she never thought she’d be able to remedy. Lula built a strong community in her neighborhood, and for years neighbors and family members offered to do small fixes on her home, but none were ever permanent and problems persisted.

Lula knew about Habitat from shopping at the Habitat Stores, but it wasn’t until she learned that Habitat had done repairs for her neighbors and that her cousin had lived in a Habitat home, that she reached out to apply to the repair program.

Lula's stairs before workLula's stairs after work

Our team has been working with Lula since the summer. Through partnerships with Mears Roofing and GAF-ELK Materials, we were able to do a full roof replacement, eliminating the years of leaks Lula and her neighbors had tried to patch. Habitat staff and volunteers rebuilt portions of the deck and stairs, adding a more stable handrail or Lula’s safety. We also re-roofed her shed and painted the entire exterior of the house to give it a much-needed fresh coat of paint to preserve the integrity of the siding of the home.

The Habitat repairs team is tackling the last part of the project this month. After a thorough needs assessment, Habitat will be taking out the old carpet, which is 20+ years old and is causing some allergy issues for Lula, as well as proving difficult for her to upkeep. The new flooring will be vinyl plank and should be much safer for Lula’s health and will pose less of a trip hazard than the old carpeting. Lula is most excited about the “clean, fresh” grey flooring she chose.

Over the last six months, Lula has embodied what neighborhood and community means at Habitat. She learned about our work through word of mouth, she’s invested her own time to help the team and volunteers with smaller tasks, and she is committed to promoting our program throughout her neighborhood, telling us she is leaving her Habitat yard sign up for as long as possible to share the good work that we are doing!

Lula said, “Owning my own home means a whole lot. It means the world to me to have this and know that I can finally get these things done.”

Our team has been grateful to share Lula’s pride in her home, as a well-deserved homeowner who now has the peace of mind to know she can keep this house as her forever home.