LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Habitat for Humanity Capital Region gave two first time home buyers the keys to a newly renovated home, as part of a new home ownership program.

It marks the third time since July 2022 that the organization helped people remodel and finance homes.

This time it was for a mother and her son, Damaris and Ismael Camejo-Alfonso. They emigrated from Cuba in 2000 and made their way to Michigan in 2016.

They were renting their home for five years when Habitat for Humanity worked with the Lansing Housing Coalition to help them buy it.

After that, volunteers with the organization got started on remodeling.

“Things needed to be done in the basement, like painting. Also, leveling the ground in the back because the ground was going toward the house, so we did away from the house for water,” Ismael Camejo-Alfonso said.

The group went through remodeling every room in the house. From fresh paint, all the way to brand new hardwood floors.

And they didn’t stop there. Knowing this could be their forever home, they made it more accesible.

“The mobility issues for my mom that were addressed, especially with the ramp and the bathroom. We are super happy in how things have gone and the quality of work, so we are super excited,” Ismael Camejo-Alfonso said.

In total, Habitat for Humanity said it’s put more than 400 hours into the restoration. But the group doesn’t just give away the home.

“We put the money in the restoration. Our home buyers go through extensive education on home maintenance and financial education. Then they also invest 250 hours themselves working on this project and other projects. Ultimately, they buy the home with an affordable mortgage,” Brent Taylor, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Capital Region, said.

Damaris and Ismael Camejo-Alfonso said it has been a dream of theirs to own a house and thanks to Habitat for Humanity, that dream became a reality.