For Brittany and her two kids – Javier (15) and Isabella (8) – space is the issue. The family of three has spent the past decade living in a two-bedroom mobile home with too little room both indoors and out. 

“We’re crowded,” Brittany said. “We don’t have space away from each other, especially the siblings.” 

The family’s future, though, is wide open. Brittany is well on the way to purchasing a 1,158 square foot ranch home in Des Moines’ Merle Hay Neighborhood through Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity. Like every Habitat home, Brittany’s will be purchased with an affordable mortgage. 

At their current residence, the family’s outdoor living space is so limited that they were reprimanded for buying a trampoline. With no sidewalks in their neighborhood, the kids can’t ride bikes, and the nearest park is nowhere nearby. 

Brittany said that her family’s new home will provide ample room. She highlighted the private backyard, which is surrounded by big, leafy trees, as one of her favorite aspects of her future home – plenty of space for a trampoline. Plus, Tower Park, the Franklin Avenue Library, and the Waveland Trail are all just blocks away from their new home. 

Isabella grinned as Brittany described the possibility of creating a crafting space for Isabella’s paintings and Brittany’s jewel artwork projects in the new home’s basement. Javier said he looks forward to having space to play video games, a hobby that the family shares as they play Super Nintendo together. 

The selection of Brittany’s family’s new home comes as the most significant milestone on a journey that began four years ago. After seeing an advertisement for the Homeownership Program on Facebook, Brittany applied. Before she could join the program, however, she worked through GDM Habitat financial education classes and with a GDM Habitat housing and financial counselor to improve her credit and financial situation to prepare for homeownership. 

“I figured Habitat would be the place to help me get financially ready and help with clearing the debt that I needed to,” Brittany said. 

After becoming financially ready, Brittany was accepted into the Homeownership Program. Today, she is working through her sweat equity and hopes to complete the purchase of her home in late 2022. 

Five years from now, Brittany said, visitors to her home would probably be shocked about how much space there is. 

“They would see a normal family home,” Brittany said. “Kids, toys, pictures, and probably a mess in the kitchen.” 

Brittany's family

GDM Habitat for Humanity

95 University Ave., Suite 1
Des Moines, Iowa 50314


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