Nonprofit builds homes for six families in Lee County

A nonprofit says rent prices are reportedly skyrocketing in Southwest Florida. And we reported earlier this week Florida is nearly 90 percent higher than the national average on rent prices.

An organization is helping families in the area to put roofs over their heads. After years of working to own own homes, it finally became a reality for multiple families.

Habitat for Humanity gave six families keys to new homes Thursday, the largest dedication day for Lee County.

“For me and for our family today means that we can be stable,” Kortney Cosby said. “We can have stability in our new home, and we can build as a family.”

The Cosby’s first home is three bedrooms, two baths with faux wood-panel floors, appliances and a washer-dryer.

It was a longtime coming for the Cosby family.

“We have been trying for the past two and a half years,” Greg Cosby said. “So it’s been a journey.”

The Cosby family like over 50,000 households in Lee County have been paying more than half of their income to housing.

“Renting was not a good thing because the rent in this area has skyrocketed,” said.

Rosa Maria Perez Gonzalez has also been feeling the pain of renting saying there was no advantage until now.

“We have suffered so much,” Perez said. “Paying the rent, there’s been no advantage. But now, yes.”

But these house keys aren’t a gift but proof these families are committed to home ownership.

“Put 300 hours of sweat equity; put down $1,700 down in a down payment, as well as take several hours of education classes,” said Becky Lucas, interim director of Habitat for Humanity in Lee and Hendry Counties. That’s what makes them special. They’re willing to work for it.”

Perez said her dream and her goal has been to become a homeowner.

“We don’t have to worry about anything changing,” Cosby said. “We just have to pay our mortgage, and I thank God for that.”

Something of note: The majority of the families who were moved into their new homes applied more than once prior to Habitat for Humanity stepping in to help.

Habitat for humanity said it plans to have 60 dedication days in Hendry and Lee alone.

MORE: Habitat for Humanity – Become A Homeowner 

Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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