Habitat Chicago recently welcomed seven women-led households into our Affordable Homeownership Program and we will have their stories for you soon! In the meantime, here's a bit about the great undertaking these women embark on to become Habitat homeowners:

Habitat partners with Chicagoans who do not qualify for typical loans to become homeowners. Qualifying households meet three basic criteria: 

  • 1) Demonstrate a need for decent housing (currently living in unsafe or overcrowded conditions or are severely rent-burdened)
  • 2) Are willing to partner in our program by completing 250-350 volunteer hours and attending our free homebuyer readiness training classes
  • 3) Have the ability to purchase their home with an affordable (30-year, no-interest, no-profit) mortgage.

Families enter the program as a cohort, designed to provide built-in support for navigating the process of homeownership as a first-time buyer. It takes 12-18 months for cohorts to complete the program. At the end of it all, homebuyers become neighbors in one of our focus communities, living in healthy and sustainable homes built by themselves, volunteers (like our Women Builders!), and Habitat construction staff. 

Donshay’s four kids are the light of her life, and she can’t wait to give them all a place of their own in their new home. From a big backyard to a space dedicated to books and school work, this West Side native is eager to make her future house fit her family's personality. She's looking forward to creating memories there together and eventually passing the house down to them one day.

“I know owning a home will bring on a lot of new responsibilities. I am working now towards building future goals for myself and my children. But through all the hard work, it will be worth it – we will own a home that we helped build from the ground up. We can build generational wealth. And, most of all, it will be OURS.”  




​Joyce is no stranger to Habitat Chicago and all of the opportunities that come with owning a home. After watching her daughter, Aphriditie, go through the Affordable Homeownership Program and having just graduated from Habitat Chicago’s Homebuyer University herself, Joyce understands what homeownership can offer: a place that is entirely her own and peace of mind for herself and her son, Willie. 

“I wanted to become a homeowner, so I can have something for me and my son. Something that is ours that we can build together... I wanted something I can grow into and that he can grow into."



Tabitha poses for a selfie with her dad

Lisa’s life revolves around putting others first. When she's not working as a direct support professional, she’s making her 108-year-old great grandmother happy by learning how to crotchet, but most of all, she’s trying to provide the best for her son. With a place of her own, this mother of one is ready to create a legacy for herself and her son.

“My son is my motivation for everything. He had a really difficult time growing up. I just want to make things a little easier for him and his future. I just wanter to provide something for him where he can settle in for the future... Provide for my lineage.”



To Nakeisha, Habitat Chicago is an opportunity both provide herself the stability and self-reliance she deserves and to help build and join a thriving community as well. In addition, she loves the fact that she is able to learn the construction skills that will help her maintain her home for years to come. ​

“I will have stability and a place that I know is mine... I am excited to be the first owner of something not owned by someone else; to be able to tell people this was built from the ground up. I feel like it was built for me, and I am excited to see it all come to life.”



Myeasha currently works as a payroll assistant, but being a mom to her sons is her favorite job. Together, they are always making funny videos, reading, going to the movies, or hosting game nights. She can't wait to surprise them with their new home and start creating new memories together.

“I can’t believe that this will be something for us. Right now, we are in my mom’s house. I want to take that stress off of her. I want to create generational wealth, and build a place to pass down to my kids. When we move into this home, I will become an even better mom to my boys, and that is worth it.” 



Despite being a bit nervous to move away to a new part of the city, she is eager to take on a role in her new community and get to know all of her neighbors. She knows becoming a Habitat Chicago homebuyer offers a safe home in a good neighborhood, and being able to provide that stability for her daughter is all the motivation Sharlton needs.

“There will be some changes that come with getting used to owning my home- learning about mortgages, property taxes, insurance, and things like that I’ve never had to do before. But owning my own home is worth it. My daughter and I will get the stability, equity, comfort, and pride of owning a home. And we’re excited about it all!”



Learn more about these incredible women at www.habitatchicago.org/meet-our-homebuyers.