A subsidized studio apartment is not the ideal place to raise three active kids. Thankfully Mohammad Zafar and his wife Sarah O’Keefe will soon have all the space they need in the Habitat home they're buying in Oakdale later this month. The family, their loved ones and volunteers from Twin Cities Habitat gathered for an emotional Home Dedication on May 4. The kids tested out the playground equipment in the backyard and enjoyed showing off their new rooms to their cousins.
Mohammad moved from Pakistan as a boy and grew up in Eagan. He served in the Marines and now works at Metro State University helping other Veterans get financial aid for college. Over the past year, Twin Cities Habitat has been reaching out to bring our programs and services to more Veterans and their families.
At the Dedication, Mohammad said as a Muslim it takes a long time to save for a home because his faith teaches that it is wrong to benefit from, or pay, interest. He said the family had a 10- to 15-year plan to buy a home, but once Sarah found out about Habitat's unique 0% interest mortgage they realized they could do it. Helping matters was Mohammad's stable post-Marines job.
Sarah cried tears of joy when she heard they’d been selected into Habitat's Homeownership Program and she cried them again at the Dedication as she thanked everyone who helped make it a reality. She said she really feels ready to be a homeowner because of all the financial training and home maintenance classes she went through as part of Habitat's Homeownership Program.
When Mohammad and Sarah close on their home, their mortgage payments will go to Twin Cities Habitat so volunteers can build even more homes.
And for the icing on the cake, Amaiya, the family’s older daughter, will celebrate her 13th birthday the day after they sign the final paperwork. Now, she and her younger brother and sister will have space to study, play and have friends over.
The mortgage payments from Habitat homeowners do not cover all of the costs associated with Habitat volunteers building safe, decent affordable homes. Please make a gift to support the mission of eliminating poverty housing in the Twin Cities.