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House is worth the wait

Deici Diaz stands in front of her Alexis Lane home, which will be dedicated during a Habitat for Humanity ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 30. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)
Deici Diaz stands in front of her Alexis Lane home, which will be dedicated during a Habitat for Humanity ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 30. (KEIZERTIMES/Craig Murphy)

Of the Keizertimes

Deici Diaz can’t wait for Saturday.

After all, it’s been a long wait.

On Saturday Diaz, her three children and her mother will move into their brand new home at 1008 Alexis Lane. The four bedroom home was a Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Willamette Valley project.

A Diaz Family Dedication will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30.

“This is my new home, my new beginning,” Diaz said Tuesday afternoon while doing an interview in front of the home. “I’m so excited. I can just imagine myself and my kids here.”

Daughters Sydney, 10 and Breanna, 8, will share a room. Son Lenny, 7, will have his own room as will Diaz and her mother.

Diaz noted her children are just as eager as she is.

“They are excited,” Diaz said. “They already want a dog.”

Moving from her current apartment to the new house completes a long-time goal for Diaz.

“Ever since I became a mom, I set a goal: I have to have a home before my 30th birthday,” she said. “I just turned 31. “In the past I tried to buy, but it didn’t work out. Then I heard about Habitat for Humanity when one of my kids brought a flier home from school. When I saw that, I said, ‘This is perfect.’”

Diaz went to a meeting, did the application process and was told she qualified for the project. Normally it’s a one-year process, but for Diaz the wait ended up being two years – causing her to miss her self-imposed deadline by a year.

Looking at the new home she’ll move into this weekend, however, the two years didn’t seem so bad.

“It was worth the wait,” she said. “It was hard, but it was worth the wait. We worked as a family. I did 300 hours of equity. My mom and sister took care of the kids while I did classes Habitat for Humanity offered.”

Amy Cubbage, director of Programs and Volunteer Engagement at Habitat for Humanity of the Mid-Willamette Valley, said partner families are selected approximately twice a year.

“Families qualify financially based on their income,” Cubbage said. “We support working class families, so they can’t make too much, but they also need to make enough to afford monthly mortgages at an interest rate of 0 percent.”

Cubbage said the “sweat equity” is 300 hours for single parent households, 500 hours for households with two or more adults.

“These are volunteer hours with Habitat for Humanity, which can be completed by the homeowner as well as their family members and friends,” she said. “Sweat equity is also nice because it gives the partner family a real opportunity to connect with their new home and our many Habitat volunteers.”

Diaz noted she worked on other homes and learned the basics.

“It was awesome,” she said. “They teach you everything at these classes. When I started, I had no idea how to use a hammer or anything.”

While working on other homes, Diaz got to see other families experience what she’ll be experiencing on Saturday: getting the keys to a new home.

“It’s a wonderful feeling,” Diaz said. “You’re like a family. You hug each other. It’s very emotional. We help each other out.”

Diaz can’t wait to experience it for herself and her own family. All she has to do at this point is wait for Saturday.

“I’ve been counting the days,” she said. “I’ve been waiting for this day. It will be very emotional. All of the support has been wonderful. We’ve been very blessed to have all of that help. This will mean a better future for my kids. I can’t wait.”