OLD BRIDGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- Habitat for Humanity welcomed a family of four to a new home in New Jersey with a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday.
Morris Habitat for Humanity celebrated the completion of a new three-bedroom, single family home in the Laurence Harbor section of Old Bridge with the Elie family.
Taylor and Jimmy Elie, of Queens, have never been able to afford a home before, even though both work full-time jobs. Now, they're hoping to build generational wealth.
"My mother had me young," Taylor Elie said. "She wasn't able to be a homeowner. So I wanted to give my kids something."
They will be sharing the home with their 19-year-old daughter, Jilaya, and their 10-year-old son, Cameron.
"At my house, we don't have a nice fancy-looking stove like this one," Cameron said. "I'm very thankful."
The family contributed 300 hours of "sweat equity" toward building their ranch-style home on Norwood Avenue that also features one full bath, a front porch and a small backyard.
The home is Energy Star certified and has a septic system and public water.
The property was generously donated by Michael Landreth.
Morris Habitat for Humanity CEO Blair Schleischer Wilson said she's seeing a rise in people no longer able to afford their one-bedroom apartments.
"COVID, the economic downtown, and now we have inflation and everything else going on, has really seriously lifted the veil on the need here in New Jersey," she said.
The family is expected to close on the home next month. Meanwhile, Morris Habitat for Humanity aims to build another 12 homes nearby in a project that will break ground in 2023.
Morris Habitat for Humanity is part of a global nonprofit housing organization committed to building homes, communities, and hope.
Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Morris Habitat builds affordable new homes and provides home repair services to income eligible families.
Since 1985, Morris Habitat has served more than 780 families through building 172 local homes, preserving 325 homes for low-income and senior residents, and helping 282 families with housing solutions worldwide.
The organization has engaged more than 145,000 volunteers for various programs.
Morris Habitat also operates a successful ReStore home improvement outlet that has kept 15,500 tons of reusable materials out of landfills and funded 33 homes.
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