BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. – Decades of hard work and sacrifice finally paid off for Federico Lopez Rivera and his wife Juana Espinoza de Rivera last week. Federico and Juana were handed the keys to their brand new 1,200-square-foot Bonita Springs home on Friday, Aug. 16 by Joseph Elwell, Assistant General Manager of the Bonita Bay Club.
Before reaching out to Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties, the couple was spending 57 percent of their income on a rental property they’d never own.
Federico first moved to Bonita Springs in 1986 to harvest fruits and vegetables in the local farming industry, while Juana stayed in Mexico with their daughters. Over three decades he contributed to the Southwest Florida economy, earned his citizenship and saved enough money to move his family to the United States.
With family by his side Federico was ready to achieve the next step of his American Dream – owning a home. Although employed at the Fort Myers Colonial Golf Club since 2004, his income wasn’t enough to cover the purchase of a new home through traditional means. Habitat was able to work with Federico and Juana to secure their long-term future in Bonita Springs.
Habitat serves as a catalyst for economic change by providing the stability families need to thrive. Our homebuyers have contributed $5.9 million in local property taxes since 2001 and in most cases pay off their mortgages in 20 or 30 years. Habitat’s annual mortgage default rate is less than one percent.
The benefits of affordable housing for local communities are considerable, from boosts in physical and mental health to improvement in educational outcomes. With a stable home to live in, Federico and Juana’s children will be 116 percent more likely to graduate from college.
Learn more about how Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties brings affordable housing to local communities at habitat4humanity.org.
About Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties
Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties is one of the largest Habitat affiliates in the country. Since 1982, 1,600 families in need of a hand up have partnered with Habitat Lee and Hendry to build or improve their home. Habitat homeowners, alongside volunteers, help build their own home and pay an affordable mortgage. Through volunteering, financial or material donations, everyone can help Lee and Hendry county families achieve strength, stability and independence. Through shelter, we empower. To learn more, visit www.habitat4humanity.org