Habitat for Humanity housing project pushes forward

Jennifer Simmons
Posted 3/23/21

Many things in 2020 were put on hold due to COVID-19 but the Ogle County Habitat for Humanity house build wasn’t one of them.

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Habitat for Humanity housing project pushes forward


Many things in 2020 were put on hold due to COVID-19 but the Ogle County Habitat for Humanity house build wasn’t one of them.

Shovels broke ground for the home on South Ninth Street in Rochelle in June 2020 and was completed earlier this month. The Felix and Tanya Vega family will soon be moving into the four bedroom, two bathroom home.

Habitat homes are modestly sized, typically not exceeding 1,050 square feet of living space. The three-bedroom ranch-style homes usually include an unfinished basement so that the family could eventually add another bedroom.

“This is a larger family so this particular home we did add a fourth bedroom, typically they are three bedroom homes,” HFHOC director Vanessa White-Broome said. “The last property that we finished was over on Eighth Avenue.”

The home also has an unfinished basement that the family can finish later if they choose to do so.

Each family chosen for at Habitat home must meet the eligibility requirement to pay the mortgage and contribute sweat equity, which is typically 200 hours.

White-Broome said the Christian-based organization strives to assist individuals and families that need a hand up, not a hand out.

“There is a misconception that we give a house away. These are families that are working, they have to put sweat equity in and they have to have a willingness to partner with us,” White-Broome said. “They have a mortgage, but no interest on that mortgage.”

Each family that participates in a Habitat house build must participate in the process of the build.

“They have to do sweat equity hours and they have to accumulate those hours and we really encourage the entire family to get involved so that they can get those hours done before they move into the property,” White-Broome said.

At the groundbreaking ceremony held in June 2020, the Vegas spoke about their appreciation for being chosen as the owners of the house on South Ninth Street.

“This donation means so much to our family and we are very appreciative of it. This will be our first home and the first place we live that we can call our own,” the couple said.

Habitat for Humanity of Ogle County, Inc. is part of a global, nonprofit housing organization. Habitat for Humanity is committed to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating, and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies, and to provide training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter condition.

Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller, along with his wife, Linda.

Driven by the vision that everyone needs a decent place to live, Habitat for Humanity began in 1976 as a grassroots effort on a community farm in southern Georgia. The Christian organization has since grown to become a leading global nonprofit working in nearly 1,400 communities throughout the U.S. and in more than 70 countries.

Habitat for Humanity operates around the globe and has helped build, renovate, and repair thousands of decent, affordable houses sheltering more than 3 million people worldwide.