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Hardworking families finally move into their own homes after challenging year

net-zero house.jpg
Posted at 3:01 PM, Jan 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 11:52:55-04

RUSKIN, Fla. — It was one year ago that the Florida Home Partnership began building “net-zero” energy homes for families living below the medium income.

Then the pandemic happened but the construction didn’t stop. Four-year-old Skylar is testing out her new driveway outside her new home in Ruskin for the first time.

“She keeps telling me it’s not my house it’s our house, and she keeps saying, ‘oh we are going to the new house,’” said single mother and new homeowner Destinie Davis.

Davis still pinches herself every time she walks through the front door. She had been living with her parents, working seven days a week, at two different jobs and then the pandemic hit.

“It ended up cutting many of my hours and my checks a little short some weeks, so just trying to keep up,” said Davis.

Davis was introduced to the Florida Home Partnership, whose mission is to provide affordable housing for people like Destinie, who are making 80 percent or below the county’s median income for families.

“Sometimes it seems like it’s far-fetched but to actually see it happen and it’s happening for me is really exciting,” said Davis.

“These are really hardworking people that are really struggling and not giving up,” said Mike Morina, Executive Director with Florida Home Partnership.

Morina showed Destinie all the ways these homes will save her energy and money over the years, from the hot water tank to the spray-foam insulation, to the metal roof and the solar panels.

“These homes are expected to produce as much energy over the course of a year as they’ll use,” said Morina.

The nonprofit organization has already built five “net-zero” energy homes in the Ruskin neighborhood and they plan to build nine more by the end of the year.

“If it’s happening to me it can happen to anyone, thank you,” said Davis.

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