After living in a tiny, cramped room that was detrimental to their health, John and Johanna took possession of their new Habitat for Humanity home just in time for Christmas.
When John and Johanna moved back to Australia after caring for John’s terminally ill Father in New York, they didn’t arrive to what they had expected. Soon the couple found themselves them living in a small cramped bedroom, without access to the normal amenities of a house.
This presented a serious health issue for Johanna, who suffers from a congenital heart condition. She needs to be able to sleep more hours than the average person in order to remain healthy. Living in the small space, which was right next to a noisy park, left the couple with no control over noise pollution and very little ability to have decent rest.
With Johanna completing full time study and visa implications making it difficult for John to find work, the pair found themselves in desperate need of assistance to move on from their living situation.
For John, moving into a secure, decent home they can call their own represented a new life. 'You lose parts of yourself when you don’t have space to do the things that you do', says John. 'The biggest relief is knowing that Johanna will be able to have a better shot at health'.
The couple are already seeing positive change since moving in two months ago. Johanna’s health has improved and John has found meaningful and ongoing work.
‘I already see a change in Johanna’, says John, ‘a vibrancy and vitality from getting far better rest in a clean and beautiful environment’.
John and Johanna will own their new home by their contribution of ‘sweat equity’, having helped with the building of their home, and an interest-free loan provided by Habitat for Humanity to assist with the purchase. The home was built with the help of an army of volunteers, donors and sponsors.
The young couple were the 58th family to receive a Habitat for Humanity home in Victoria, and are among ten families who have moved in at the Yea Heights Estate Development through Habitat for Humanity’s ‘hand up’, not a ‘hand out’ approach to assisting people in need.
The Yea Heights Estate development is a major affordable housing project for Habitat for Humanity that assists low income families living in housing stress to become home owners. The first home of this project was built in 2012, and Habitat for Humanity aims to complete the remaining 13 homes in this project by 2019.
Check out John and Johanna's House Handover Day below :