For more than 20-years now, Iowa Heartland Habitat For Humanity has been helping families reach the American dream of home ownership.
Habitat has 6 projects underway right now in the Cedar Valley, including its first-ever home being renovated for a refugee family from Burma.
John Lazum, his wife, Ester and their 7 children will move into the 2-story, 101-year old Waterloo home when renovations are completed sometime in June.
Iowa Heartland Habitat for Humanity has taken on this very large project, with help from dozens of cedar Valley volunteers.
The Lazum family came to Waterloo a little more than a year ago from the small southeast Asian nation of Burma.
They fled from the oppression, political unrest and religious persecution faced by so many Roman Catholics in Burma. The Lazum's are among some 700 Burmese refugees who now call the Cedar Valley their home.
The family is required to work 300 hours on the home. It's a down payment Habitat calls ‘Sweat Equity." After that, Habitat's Lindsey Pieters says the Lazum's will own the home. Pieters says, "They move into their house, and they pay a zero per cent interest mortgage to Habitat, and those mortgages help build more Habitat homes."
Project Supervisor, John T says it's one of Habitat's largest local projects ever, and helping the first Burmese family get their home is a real joy. "Not only special for that reason. It's such a large family. You know, most of the time, we have parents and one or two kids at the most. This a really large family. It's a big, big package to provide for. It's great."
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