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Financed With Sweat And Sore Muscles, Family Moves Into New Home

(Credit: Mike Dougherty)

(Credit: Mike Dougherty)

Mike Dougherty Mike Dougherty
Mike is a general assignment reporter and editor for KYW Newsradio...
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By Mike Dougherty

CINNAMINSON, NJ (CBS) – A Burlington County family moves into a rehabbed home in Cinnaminson today, thanks to Habitat for Humanity’s affordable homeownership program.

Since being approved for the program a year ago, single father Rafael Santana Franco and his three daughters have put in more than 400 hours of sweat equity building their home and others.

“Every Saturday, my family and I go to Habitat, any house, for work. We are happy for working with Habitat.”

This was no small job — workers rippped walls down to the studs and replaced or repaired just about everything from floor to ceiling.

“The best transformation though has been seeing the family and the community development,” Habitat volunteer coordinator Joe Hofmann says. “You see the families in our program and they all know each other. They’re friends, they work together.”

In the end, the family owns a home for less than they were paying for rent. Gerry Banmiller, CEO of 1st Colonial National Bank, helped make this happen with an interest-free loan, as well as a checking account with enough money to cover the first mortgage payment.

“It makes a one-percenter feel vindicated. For people like this who are so deserving, to have them happy and a decent living environment, it does make us feel good.”

Habitat officials expect to wrap up a few more builds in South Jersey later this month.

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