- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Christina Hampton’s dreams of being a new homeowner have finally come true.
The 26-year-old, like so many in this region, ran into a brick wall when looking for a house she could afford. With home prices continuing to inch up after the recession, she knew it was unlikely to get any easier anytime soon.
Now, thanks to Patuxent Habitat for Humanity, that dream is a reality as work begins on what will be her new home.
“It’s like winning the lottery,” Hampton said.
She applied in May online to be a recipient of the next Habitat house to be built in St. Mary’s County. She attended a June workshop to learn about the program and to determine if she qualified financially.
Hampton figured someone else would probably be selected. Her mother said that although her daughter really hoped to be the one who was selected, she said that if there was someone more deserving or needed the house more she hoped it would go to that person.
Then just two weeks ago word came that Hampton was selected. “It still feels unreal,” she said.
Hampton has worked for a software development company in Waldorf for about three years, but still finds it hard to make ends meet.
“It’s hard to afford a house by yourself,” she said.
Hampton currently lives in Golden Beach with her mother. Also in the house is her grandmother, sister and 7-month-old daughter, Alexis.
The four generations make the house a bit crowded, Hampton said, and she is looking forward to branching out on her own.
“I’m so excited,” she said.
The organization requires the recipients of its homes to put in “sweat equity” by working on the home from start to end. In turn, they get low-interest loans for the house mortgage.
Hampton said she’s ready to work every weekend and whenever else she gets a chance. She has already started to solicit her friends and family to help with the build during the coming months.
“I’m just so grateful that she’s been blessed with this,” Theresa Hampton, her mother, said.
Patuxent Habitat for Humanity has given her daughter an opportunity to really start her own family and be independent, the mother said.
Still, “I’m going to miss her,” she said.
Sandra Diaz, president of the local Habitat group, said Patuxent Presbyterian Church came to them to start this year’s interfaith build after already raising some funds.
The project couldn’t have got started without the church, Diaz said, however, “seeing it to completion is going to take everyone’s efforts.”
Construction will kick off with a “blitz build” over the course of two days, at the end of which time the home will be under roof, Diaz said.
From there, smaller groups will work mostly on weekends, and there will be a weeklong mission of volunteers from Patuxent Presbyterian.
Diaz said the hope is that Christina Hampton will be able to move in by Thanksgiving.
This house will be the 20th Patuxent Habitat for Humanity has built, Sharon Farbizio, director of operations, said. Hampton’s new three-bedroom home will be situated on a lot in the Patuxent Park neighborhood in Lexington Park.
The organization owns several more lots in the neighborhood that it purchased and has already constructed two other homes there.
Other land for other homes has been donated, including some from county government.
The group is still in need of some donations of materials, volunteers and gifts-in-kind.
The plan includes making the home an Energy Star rating by incorporating several “green” items.
Farbizio said the group is also gearing up to start work on two critical renovations to veterans’ homes. Patuxent Habitat for Humanity is funded through donations, grants and money made from its ReStore centers, like the one in Lexington Park that sells donated building supplies, furniture and more.