13 families work for Habitat for Humanity homes

The 25-home project will be complete by the end of the year

The Mothafar family got the keys to their Habitat for Humanity home on November 5, 2016. (KOIN)
The Mothafar family got the keys to their Habitat for Humanity home on November 5, 2016. (KOIN)

Gresham, Ore. (KOIN) — Rain didn’t damper the spirits of a families who received the keys to their new Gresham homes Saturday morning.

Families like Mesab Mothafar’s are looking forward to building a future together in the 13 new homes, built by Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, that are almost ready to move into.

“Because I am low income, that’s very hard,” Mothafar said. “If I want to buy a house, it’s very expensive. And this one is cheap because [it’s] zero interest.”

The 25-home project in the Rockwood community started 2 years ago. The first 12 homes were finished and sold last year.

25 new homes were built in the Rockwood community in Gresham by Habitat for Humanity. (KOIN)
25 new homes were built in the Rockwood community in Gresham by Habitat for Humanity. (KOIN)

Twelves other families also got the keys to their homes on November 5, after they all logged 500 hours of work.

“The families have been out here to help build these homes,” said Habitat for Humanity Portland CEO Steve Messineti. “Putting in 500 hours each of sweat equity alongside volunteers and then they’ll buy these homes from Habitat, who provides them with an affordable mortgage.”

Because the families have been working together to build these homes, they have truly become a community.

“Wonderful families, hardworking families. They’ve become a community because they’ve been building their houses together for the past year. Very divers families from all walks of life,” Messineti said. “Many different languages spoken and the potlucks here are incredible — bringing together people with many different ethnic backgrounds.”

When completed, the community will have 25 homes with diverse families and more than 75 children living there.

Messineti said it means a lot to the families to get this chance after years of struggling.

“These are families, as you know, in the current housing crisis here, who are really struggling day to day with rents are too high so there’s not enough for other life necessities,” Messineti said.