Yvonne Swanson moved back to her hometown of Tuscaloosa in May 2013 after retiring. She rented a house near a neighborhood of homes built by Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa.
"Prior to becoming a Habitat homeowner, Yvonne lived just down the street from her new three-bedroom, two-bath Habitat home," said Habitat Tuscaloosa Executive Director Ellen Potts. "Her old, two-bedroom rental house was poorly sealed, and vermin could get inside. Her rent was nearly double what her Habitat mortgage payment is, and as she moved out, the landlord was about to increase the rent again."
Swanson had never heard of Habitat for Humanity, and she was intrigued by the houses she saw being constructed in the neighborhood, so she applied for a home of her own.
Built in 2017, Swanson's Habitat home was sponsored through a partnership with the Southwest District of the United Methodist Church’s North Alabama Conference. United Methodists joined together with people from other churches and faith-based organizations, the Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors, local businesses, and volunteers from all over the country to construct the house. Potts said, "She volunteered on the job site every day, and even on the days she had to work, would come by before and after work, and often on her lunch break to thank the volunteers. Yvonne Swanson is an absolute joy!"
Working with Habitat for Humanity, AHFA purchases mortgage loans from the local affiliates. This process allows the affiliates to receive the loan amount up front in a lump sum while AHFA receives the monthly payments for the life of the loan. The affiliate then uses the up-front funds to build more housing for low-income families. "Now, because of our partnership with AHFA to purchase Yvonne’s loan, there are new Habitat homes under construction on Juanita Drive," said Potts.
Hear Swanson share her thoughts on becoming a Habitat homeowner: