Takira moved into her Habitat home in Pontiac in 2014. Born and raised in Pontiac, Takira’s new home was close to friends and family. Growing up with parents who were homeowners, she wanted to be able to provide the same pride and security to her 12-year-old daughter. Takira learned about the Habitat homeownership program when she visited a Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County ReStore with her mother. Her housing at the time was inconsistent and unpredictable. With a desire for safe, secure and affordable housing, she enrolled in Habitat University. After over a year of financial readiness, credit repairs and budget planning, Takira was ready to pay an affordable mortgage and qualified for a Habitat home of her own.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted her 12-year career as a dental assistant and her position was ultimately eliminated, resulting in having to rely on inconsistent unemployment benefits to get by. As a single mother, she also had to be home for her daughter to attend virtual school, which she is still attending. Takira sought support from Habitat University and HFHOC’s HUD-certified Housing and Financial Coach. Through Hab U, she was able to discuss options and come up with referrals for assistance programs. Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County was able to defer six months of payments to the end of her loan so she would be able to stay current with her house payment and have more room in her budget. COVID-19 relief funds have also helped to eliminate some of the payments that were deferred.
Despite facing many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Takira remains a homeowner and is current on her house payments through the support of Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County. Takira said owning her first home “has been life-changing and is honestly the biggest accomplishment of my life.” Investing in her community by attending a local church, delivering poinsettias and turkeys at holidays, mowing and shoveling for neighbors, and morning coffee chats on her front porch, Takira sees her home as a place to grow, celebrate holidays and make memories.