Ten Eastside families become homeowners in Habitat for Humanity project

SAMMAMISH, Wash. — Ten families on the Eastside now have a place to call home thanks to a project by Habitat for Humanity.

The families received keys Saturday to their new homes in a brand-new community, Sammamish Cottages. There are 10 modest-sized, two-story homes along 228th Avenue.

In May, members of the community, including KIRO 7’s own anchors and reporters, took park in a building event to help build the community. That event was part of Women Build Week.

After nearly two years, those families are seeing their dreams come to reality.

Brooke Geleta, 19, said his father moved to the U.S. from Ethiopia just before he was born to start a better life.

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“This kind of opportunity really give you hope and give you opportunity to live a new kind of life that you never had before,” Geleta said.

All of the homeowners who received keys make less than 60% of the area’s median income. Sammamish is considered one of the most expensive areas in western Washington.

According to Zillow, the median home value in the area is around $911,000.

Brett D’Antonio, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Seattle-King County, said, “It’s getting harder and harder to save for that down payment when you are paying so much in rent.”

“What we provide is affordable home opportunity, which is rare in this part of the county,” D’Antonio told KIRO 7 in May.

Habitat for Humanity allows qualified homeowners to create a financing plan with a mortgage that won't exceed 30% of their income.

In addition, the new homeowners had to pitch in hundreds of hours of “sweat equity,” helping to build the cottages.

“It gives you this prideful feeling that this is your house,” Geleta said.

The next big groundbreaking for Habitat for Humanity will be in Seattle. Sixteen homes are expected to be built in the Lake City Way area.