June 9, 2021
For the past several years, Emily Gardner and her two sons were living in a two-bedroom apartment in an urban neighborhood of Seattle. As a single mom, while she is lucky to have kept her job during the pandemic, her hours had been cut, and her rent and other necessary living expenses were taking everything she made and she has been unable to build her savings.
Additionally, the area in which they were living was becoming increasingly unsafe, and Emily’s boys – ages 15 and 13 – were becoming more and more uncomfortable walking outside by themselves. As you can imagine, this troubled her deeply – Emily knew she needed to figure out another living situation.
But once she got deeper into the conventional housing market, Emily realized that people were expected to waive contingencies and compete with all cash buyers. She watched as every possible home within her limited budget drifted out of reach and what was possible was very clearly not advisable – run-down condos with high HOA fees that would sink her into debt.
Emily did everything she could think of to uncover alternative routes to homeownership – she knew her kids needed better and that she was the only one who could give that to them. When she discovered Habitat, she was almost out of hope.