By Xiomara Levsen
“I honestly never thought it would happen,” said Afton Perry, who found out about three months ago that she and her husband, Bob, were selected to receive a home through Iowa Valley’s Habitat for Humanity. “It was so long ago that I just kind of forgot about it. When I put in the application I just crossed my fingers and hoped it would happen.”
Ground will be broken at 1633 Highland Avenue at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening. It is the first home for the Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity in Washington County since 2010, said Washington County liaison for Iowa Valley’s Habitat for Humanity Margie Roth.
Once the family is selected, they have to put in 250 hours of labor. She estimates the family has put in almost 40 hours already working on a foreclosed home Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity has taken over.
“The interaction I’ve seen with them has been really wholesome,” Roth said. “They’ve had extended family help with cleaning out things from the foreclosed home.”
The family’s story with the Habitat for Humanity begins in 2010. Afton said she put in the application after Bob and she were married that August. Since then they have moved three times. Each time they moved, members from Habitat of Humanity would visit their residence to see what type of living conditions they were in. It was their current apartment that helped them to be selected, Afton said.
They live in a cramped apartment with five family members. It’s an older home in Washington, which has been converted into apartments. There is a leak in the bathroom, which has caused black mold to grow, and lead paint throughout the house.
“The bathroom is the size of a closet,” said Bob, “and the girls share a room. In the new house the girls will have their own room and their own bathroom. They’re pretty excited about that.”
Besides Bob and Afton, there are two daughters and a son—Angelina Hahn, who is 11, Daenia, who is 12, and Ben Velasco, who is 7. Once the children found out about the house they began planning what they would do once it was built.
“The kids are pretty excited,” Afton said. “They will be able to have friends over because before they were embarrassed about where we were living. They also are excited because they’ll be able to have a dog.”
They will go from their cramped quarters at their apartment to a 1,500 square foot home on Highland Avenue. They will have four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a double garage, but Afton is most excited about one area in particular.
“I’m excited about the kitchen,” she said. “It won’t be too big, but it will have an island in it and newer appliances.”
Bob is just excited about being able to say he’s a homeowner.
“It will be nice because of the space,” he said, “and it will be a new home.“
Bob is excited about working on the interior of his home, too. He’ll be able to decorate it the way he wants.
“I’ll be able to do what I want, like paint the walls different colors,” he said. “I’ll be able to hang fixtures on the walls without having to worry about the holes they’ll leave.”