The journey to homeownership for Afi Adjessom started when she moved to Mobile from Togo, Africa in 2009. She moved to the United States to be with her father, and after living with him for a while, began renting her own apartment. Once she had her first child, Mary (who is almost 3), things became cramped in their one-bedroom apartment. That’s when a co-worker told her about Habitat for Humanity.
After getting approved for a Habitat home, Adjessom’s work began putting in those required sweat equity hours building Habitat homes. She said, “It was hard, but I made it and it helped me get my house. I met a lot of good people. I learned how to do some things around the house. I did a lot of painting, and I got some good tips.”
Carol Lambert, family services coordinator with Habitat for Humanity of Southwest Alabama, said, “It was a joy to work with Afi. She met all of her sweat equity hours and other requirements in a timely fashion with the happiest and most giving attitude.”
Adjessom’s closing and dedication were held in February 2016. She says she was, “Just so excited and happy.” Lambert said, “What’s most rewarding about our work is witnessing the process of our homeowners as they work through the homeownership program and watching them succeed. Personally, the dedication of the home to the homeowners is the best part, when we hand over the keys and ownership to them.”
Adjessom’s mortgage was purchased by AHFA as part of a program through which AHFA purchases loans from Habitat affiliates. This allows affiliates to continue building efforts while AHFA receives mortgagors’ monthly payments for the life of the loan. Lambert says, “When AHFA buys a loan from us, we then have the funds to build another home. It is a great way for us to increase our impact statewide.”
Since moving in, Adjessom said, “I’m actually paying less now for a three-bedroom house than what I was when I rented a one-bedroom apartment.” She said the neighborhood and space is what she enjoys the most. “I have a lot of space for me and my children. I have a room for them now, where before I didn’t. The new home and space came right in time, as Adjessom’s daughter Mary became big sister to Rebecca, who joined the Adjessom family in April 2016.