Kiran Patel (R) presented the Pratt family with the keys to their new Habitat for Humanity home in Brandon.

Above Photo: Kiran Patel (R) presented the Pratt family with the keys to their new Habitat for Humanity home in Brandon.

It was a happy day for new homeowner Sonya Pratt and her two sons Kenneth and Keon, who were presented the keys to their new Habitat for Humanity home by Dr. Kiran Patel during the home dedication ceremony in March.

The 1300 sq. ft., 3-bedroom 2-bath home, is the first ever Habitat for Humanity home built in Brandon and is part of a five-lot neighborhood block on East Morgan St. known as Williams Glen.
“I’ve always dreamed about owning my own home but I never thought it would be possible without being married,” said Pratt. “My dream has now come true and I am filled with feelings of joy and happiness.”

Pratt will be celebrating again in April, when her adult daughter and grandchildren (aged seven, six and three) move into the home next door after it is completed next month.

“I have been a part of my grandchildren’s life since they were born and words really can’t describe how happy I am to know that they will be living right next door,” she said. “I’ll get to see them every day and be there to help them with homework or whatever they may need.”

Pratt’s path to homeownership was not an easy one but Habitat for Humanity staff partnered with her from application through construction to when the keys were handed over. She prepared for the responsibilities of homeownership by learning about personal finances, mortgages and how to maintain her home.

An active participant in the process, she contributed 300 hours of ‘sweat-equity’ as she worked next to other community volunteers in the construction of her home.

“I enjoyed meeting new people and working with others to help make homeownership happen for me,” said Pratt.

More than 1,000 total volunteer hours went into the home’s construction.

At the dedication ceremony, Dr. Patel, whose family foundation presented a $171,500 check to Habitat for Humanity to assist with the financial needs of the project, complemented the volunteers on their hard work.

“Money people can create but time is the only thing that God gives us and how we use that time so important and valuable,” he said. “These volunteers have committed their time to making peoples’ lives better.”

Habitat for Humanity chief operating officer Ron Spoor said the volunteers, sponsors, donors, local government and homeowners is the real magic of the project. “These constructive partnerships make homeownership possible for families,” he said.

Communications liaison for Habitat for Humanity Robin Macar said the project was made possible in part by a county grant that enabled the organization to purchase the land upon which the homes are built.

The Pratt family gets a new home with an affordable mortgage. The new homeowners will pay property taxes to the county. Volunteers get the satisfaction of knowing they helped their fellow men (or women) on their road to homeownership.

“It’s really a win-win-win for everyone,” said Macar.

For more information about Habitat for Humanity, visit www.habitathillsborough.org or call 239-2242.