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Dream of homeownership becomes a reality for 5 Hartford families

Jerardo Ramires and his partner Yari Joma with their daughter accepting the keys to their house in Hartford’s Northeast neighborhood from Colette Slover of the Dept. of Economic and Community Development during a gathering where Five Habitat for Humanity constructed homes were unveiled in the parking lot of John C Clark elementary school in Hartford, Connecticut June 11th, 2024.
Abby Brone
/
Connecticut Public
Jerardo Ramires and his partner Yari Joma with their daughter accepting the keys to their house in Hartford’s Northeast neighborhood from Colette Slover of the Dept. of Economic and Community Development during a gathering where Five Habitat for Humanity constructed homes were unveiled in the parking lot of John C Clark elementary school in Hartford, Connecticut June 11th, 2024.

Jerardo Ramires and Yari Joma’s dream of becoming homeowners is coming to fruition. They will move into a new home in Hartford’s north end with their two children, after they were selected to receive a Habitat for Humanity Home.

The couple first applied for the home in 2019. After they were selected, they completed 150 hours of work on the home and 50 hours of financial education courses. Ramires and Joma also helped build the house.

“I’d say like carrying the wood, you know putting it where it has to go, nailing it, using like nail guns, stuff like that. It was a good experience,” Ramires said.

The couple is one of five families to receive a habitat home in Hartford’s Northeast neighborhood. Joma is most looking forward to spending the winter holidays in their new home.

“I’m looking forward to a holiday, Christmas, the decorating,” Joma said.

To reduce the homes’ carbon footprint, all of the homes are zero energy certified. The families will also have a zero interest mortgage.

The homes are valued at about $250,000, which determined the mortgage cost, according to Habitat for Humanity of North Central Connecticut Chief Executive Officer Karraine Moody.

Each house is considered affordable housing and cost about $220,000 to build. Construction ran from last September to June, Moody said.

The five homes, on Barbour, Clark, Capen, Nelson and Westland Streets, will revitalize the neighborhood, Hartford Mayor Arunan Arulampalam said.

“Transforming two or three homes, we know statistically, can lead to almost a 30% drop in crime,” Arulampalam. “This dream of homeownership that we're seeing fulfilled today is a dream that for too many Hartford residents, for too long, has been a dream deferred.”

At 23%, Hartford has the lowest homeownership rate in the state, a number the city is working to change, Arulampalam said.

Pastor Evelyn Smith said a prayer for the new homeowners. Smith and her husband received their Habitat for Humanity home in New Britain 19 years ago.

“Home ownership is wonderful,” Smith said. “Our house do not look like it was when it started. We have made so many, so many, so many changes to it. And you will have that chance to put your footprints on your house as well.”

Abigail is Connecticut Public's housing reporter, covering statewide housing developments and issues, with an emphasis on Fairfield County communities. She received her master's from Columbia University in 2020 and graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2019. Abigail previously covered statewide transportation and the city of Norwalk for Hearst Connecticut Media. She loves all things Disney and cats.

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