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Nina Reyes and Linda Lemus

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Homeownership Becomes Reality for Two Local Women

Once only a fleeting dream, homeownership recently became a reality for Nina Reyes and Linda Lemus. After years of relocating due to rental increases and a discouraging housing market, Nina is relieved to have the stability homeownership has provided her family. “I won’t have to bounce around from place to place anymore,” she says. “I am proof that homeownership is possible.” 

As a single, working parent of two young children, Linda was struggling to find local housing options within her means. The Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury (HFHWM) homeownership program provided an opportunity to create a better path for
Linda and her children, Isaiah and Mya. Homeownership with an affordable mortgage became a reality for Nina and Linda after
participating in more than 200 hours each of sweat equity, homebuyer education, and one-on-one budget coaching through HFHWM.

Linda is not the first member of the Lemus family to complete the Habitat program. Ten years ago, her brother, Frank, purchased a home for his family through HFHWM. Two generations of program participants attended Nina and Linda’s housing dedication
ceremony, a full-circle moment for the Lemus family and HFHWM, now in its thirtieth year of service.

“I joined the affiliate ten years ago, and one of my first builds was the home for Frank Lemus,” notes HFHWM President and COO, Jennee Galland. “Standing at the dedication with Frank and Linda, who was on the cusp of her family's new chapter as
homeowners, it was hard not to be moved. I found it a testament to the life-changing power of Habitat for Humanity and a perfect example of HFHWM's mission to put God’s love in action.”

The affiliate prides itself on building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter. Over the course of 30 years, HFHWM has helped 300 families achieve safe, affordable housing through their homeownership and Critical Repair Programs. 
 
“We are incredibly proud of our programs, but there’s still plenty of work to do. Many of our teachers, first responders, and valued essential workers are being priced out of the housing market and struggling to remain in the communities in which they were born
and raised,” explains HFHWM CEO, Kim Randell.
 
As the housing prices continue to climb in Middle Tennessee, HFHWM is planning to break ground on a 27-home neighborhood in Columbia to be built over the next three years.

About Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury: Habitat for Humanity is a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and approximately 70 countries. Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury (HFHWM) was fully incorporated as an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International on December 5, 1992. They have built over 300 homes in Williamson and Maury Counties and continue to build 12-16 new homes each year. Home construction, critical repair, and neighborhood development services are funded through tax-deductible financial contributions; in-kind donations from local businesses, churches, civic organizations, and individuals; and profits generated from their affiliate's ReStore. Homes built by Habitat are not given away, and partner families must complete a homebuyer's education program and earn at least 200 hours of "sweat equity" by working on their homes and the homes of others. After a thorough qualification process, applicants are selected based on three criteria: the need for affordable housing, the ability to pay the mortgage, and the willingness to partner. Completed homes are sold with an affordable mortgage to the families, helping build strength, stability, and independence to build a better life.

For more information about HFHWM’s homeownership program, volunteering, or sponsorship opportunities, visit hfhwm.org

Ways to get involved 
Shop and donate at the ReStore
Shop, donate, or volunteer at the HFHWM ReStore at 1725 Columbia Ave. in Franklin. The ReStore DeConstruction Team will salvage your cabinets for reuse and resale. Deconstruction services are free of charge, and your donation is tax deductible.

Become a Sponsor 
Your business can help families achieve homeownership, while providing a meaningful, tangible team-building experience for your staff. As a faith-based nonprofit, HFHWM can engage your whole congregation in a home build.

Volunteer
Grab a hammer and help a future homebuyer build a beautiful, affordable home. But you don’t have to swing a hammer to help! From budget coaching to baking goodies for the build site, share your expertise. 

Advocate and spread the mission 
Barriers to affordable housing exist at the local, state, and federal levels. Supporters can raise their voices to help change restrictive policies and systems, ensuring that more families can find appropriate, quality housing across the nation. To learn how to get involved, visit habitat.org/costofhome.

 Donate
Donations to HFHWM can be made at hfhwm.org. Every dollar donated goes directly toward purchasing building materials for family homes.

“We are incredibly proud of our programs, but there’s still plenty of work to do. Many of our teachers, first responders, and valued essential workers are being priced out of the housing market and struggling to remain in the communities in which they were born
and raised.”  -- HFHWM CEO, Kim Randell

  • The Lemus Family
  • Nina Reyes and Linda Lemus
  • The Reyes Family