Eliseo and Mirian live in a small Hillsboro apartment with their four children ages 10, 9, 7, and 2. While they’ve been able to make it work for the past several years, the truth is that their living situation is inadequate for a family of six. To make matters worse, their rent increases every year.
Mirian stays home with the kids while Eliseo works as a landscaper during the day. On certain evenings after work, he sings at church to take a moment for himself to do what he loves. But as hard as he works, it has proven to be nearly impossible to save enough money to buy a market-price home for his family.
That’s where Habitat comes in.
The family will move into their new Hillsboro home at Alder Commons as soon as it is ready for them, a day Mirian and Eliseo are eagerly awaiting. There are several reasons why they want out of their current living situation, the most obvious one being the increasing unaffordability of renting.
“It’s one way to save money, even if it’s just going to be a little,” Eliseo said. “Even if we just pay a little every month, the house will still be there.”
It’s comforting knowing that the house will belong to his family for good, Eliseo added, noting that his children can do whatever they want with it once they are old enough to decide what’s best.
Another aspect of homeownership Mirian and Eliseo are looking forward to is their children moving around without disturbing the neighbors. Two of Mirian and Eliseo’s four children have autism, and both their upstairs and downtown neighbors often complain that it’s too noisy when the kids are playing.
“They like a lot of sensory stuff and they like to be running around,” Mirian said. “It’s going to be nice that they can do whatever without me saying they have to stop running or jumping.”
When Eliseo gets home from work these days, he is forced to park far away from his apartment because he no longer has his own parking space out front. That’s why he and Mirian are particularly looking forward to having their very own garage at Alder, where they will be able to park right at home, work on projects, run around with the kids, and have the peace of mind to do whatever they want, whenever they want to.
Even before applying for their new home with Habitat, Mirian and Eliseo were somewhat familiar with the organization’s work. Mirian’s mother moved into a Habitat home of her own in Beaverton nearly 15 years ago. She’s around to watch the kids when mom and dad need a break, or when Mirian goes to hear Eliseo sing at church.
With his background in landscaping, Eliseo was a natural putting in his participation hours at the construction site of his future home. He volunteered at the ReStore as well, but preferred the construction work, where he got to see Alder come to life.
“It’s everything,” he said. “It’s win, win, win.”