Habitat Catawba Valley Celebrates the Conclusion of Robin’s Homeownership Journey
Hickory, NC (December 12, 2023)-
On Tuesday, December 12th, 2023, Robin Jakubowski closed on her own Habitat home. Robin enrolled in the Habitat Catawba Valley homeownership program in 2019. One of the most exciting moments in a Habitat homebuyer’s journey is the opportunity for a family to select the lot for their future home – and right from the start, Robin had her heart set on one of two cottages slated for Habitat’s F Avenue builds. Shortly into her journey as a homebuyer, COVID 19 struck the world. Pandemic-related cost increases, materials shortages, and staffing constraints meant that Habitat could only build in one neighborhood at a time. So during the rocky years of Covid, Habitat committed our work to building solid foundations in the Cottages at Ridgeview neighborhood.
One important aspect of Habitat’s program is the opportunity for future homebuyers to have a choice over the location of their permanent address. While Robin was offered the chance to buy a home in the Cottages at Ridgeview, she hung on to her dream of living on F Avenue. Over the next 4 years Robin remained a committed partner to Habitat, attending classes, participating in events, and welcoming three cohorts of newly accepted Habitat families. She helped families break ground, and celebrated with them when they received their keys – all the while remaining patient and positive.
Yet, it was hard for Robin to watch walls go up in the Cottages at Ridgeview, knowing it would still be years before Habitat began work in F Avenue. It was hard for Habitat staff as well. “I just remember sitting in so many meetings with construction and leadership during those years, digging into the idea that there’s got to be another way to get Robin into a house sooner”, recalls Andrew Isola, Homeowner Services Coordinator.
That “other way” emerged as Habitat’s new three-tier construction model. Created to increase our capacity to serve, accelerate construction timelines, and help more families move-in sooner, this approach utilizes varying amounts of supplemental contractor labor, allowing Habitat to work in multiple developments at once. And now, after inspiring this shift, Robin is the first homeowner to live in a house built using this model.
To Robin, ‘Home’ means having a safe place for her family. As a mother of two and a grandmother of 5, safe and affordable shelter could not be more vital to Robin. After working successfully full-time at a local manufacturer for 10 years, Robin was no closer to achieving her dream of homeownership. That’s when she discovered Habitat Catawba Valley.
“Having a Habitat home will change my life because [my family] and I can have a place to call our own. Owning my own home means I will always have a safe place for me and family.”
On Tuesday, 12/12/23, Robin’s dream of homeownership finally came to fruition. At the conclusion of her closing, Robin was greeted by members of the Habitat Catawba Valley staff. With hot cocoa and cupcakes in hand, the staff welcomed Robin to her new home in style. With Tina Morgan giving her a final blessing from the organization, Robin is now set to spend her first Christmas in a brand new, energy efficient and affordable, Habitat Home. Robin plans for her home to be a place to cherish her family. She cannot wait to celebrate the holidays with her entire family in her new home.
Hear what Habitat staff members have to say about Robin’s unique journey
Mitzi Gellman, Exec. Director:
“I have been impressed by her resolute commitment to waiting for a house on F Ave., despite the long, long period of time it took for her home. Her patience throughout the process was extraordinary and I am so happy to share in her joy with her new home.”
Jenna Ross, Asst. Director:
“Robin has demonstrated leadership, patience, and grace throughout her journey. She has been a great community builder in her time with Habitat, and has helped three different cohorts of accepted Habitat families find their way in this program. Cannot wait to watch her build community in her new neighborhood. Very excited for her new adventure!”
Stacy G., Homeowner Services Coordniator:
“Throughout the time I have worked with Robin, she has been so kindhearted, patient, understanding, and determined to move forward, overcoming any and all obstacles that got in her way. She is an all around amazing woman, neighbor, mother, and partner to Habitat.”
Tina Morgan, Homeowner Services Director:
“I like Robin’s words in her first info for us after acceptance – When asked what’s most important to her about being able to buy a Habitat house, Robin had two answers: “I’ll have a house that I can afford to pay for and not worry about how to pay other bills.” and “I’ll have a safe place for my family.””
For more information on the Cottages at Ridgeview and ways to get involved, contact Habitat Catawba Valley at 828-328-4663 x 106 or visit www.habitatcatawbavalley.org
About Habitat Catawba Valley
Founded in 1985, Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing organization dedicated to building strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter.
People in our community partner with Habitat Catawba Valley to build or improve a place they can call home. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage. Through financial support, volunteering, or adding a voice to support affordable housing, everyone can help families achieve security they need to build better lives for themselves. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit www.habitatcatawbavalley.org or call 828-328-4663 x 106.