Though she has lived her entire life in the area, Quenetria Harris has never had the chance to own her own home. Recently she and her three-year-old son Ja’kyi are one step closer to that goal, thanks to her hard work and some help from the National Association of REALTORS® and New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity.
Harris was joined by REALTOR® leaders, New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity staff, and hundreds of volunteers in the NOLA East neighborhood to make substantial headway on building Harris’s brand new home.
The Habitat build precedes the 2014 REALTORS® Conference & Expo here this week. Approximately 17,000 REALTORS® and guests are expected to attend.
“It’s been said that whatever good things we build end up building us,” says NAR President Steve Brown. “Nowhere is that more true than here at the site of a volunteer-build home. REALTORS® build communities and know the importance of having a space to call your own, a place to raise your family, and somewhere to put down roots; we are proud to help realize those dreams for people like Que and Ja’kyi, who very much deserve their new home and all the wonderful things that come with it.”
This is the 14th year that NAR has partnered with Habitat for Humanity to sponsor a home in the city hosting NAR’s annual conference and the fourth time building in New Orleans. REALTORS® have also contributed to Habitat for Humanity abroad and in the post-Katrina homebuilding effort, including 54 homes along the Gulf Coast—one for each state association and U.S. territory. This year’s build was sponsored by the REALTOR Benefits program and the new .REALTOR domain campaign.
Harris, like others who receive a home through the Habitat program, will pay a zero-interest 30-year mortgage for her new home. Recipients also contribute 350 hours of “sweat equity” into building homes for others; Harris says the experience has allowed her to meet other families like hers as well as individuals just wanting to help.
“I am so thankful to be blessed with the opportunity to own my own home,” Harris says. “I have come across so many wonderful people that just came to lend a helping hand. I am blessed to be a part of this program and to give my son his own space as he grows older.”
New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, an independent affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. NOAHH builds new houses in partnership with sponsors, volunteers, communities, and homeowner families to eliminate poverty housing in the New Orleans area while serving as a catalyst to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Since its inception in 1983 NOAHH has built more than 500 new homes for low-income families in need of adequate shelter.
For more information, visit www.realtor.org.