CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - One Charlottesville family is celebrating having a home of their own for the very first time, and they say it was all made possible by hard work and help from Habitat for Humanity.
LaTita Talbert has served the community for years as an advocate for low-income residents and as a commissioner on Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority. Now, she’s a homeowner. The dedication ceremony today means she owns a home herself, something her parents never achieved.
“I started out in Charlottesville Area Housing and Low Income Redevelopment and moved up to a section eight voucher from a section eight voucher we went into home ownership," Talbert said. "It’s a lot ... to be a board commissioner from one perspective, and then from another perspective being a renter to a home owner.”
The mother of six says owning a home is just as important for her children as it is for her, now and in the future.
“My kids are very excited about having a place to call their own," Talbert said. "I’m especially excited that if I expire, God forbid, my kids will have something that I can leave to them.”
Talbert worked alongside Habitat for Humanity volunteers to renovate the home she will now live in. The home was purchased by Habitat out of foreclosure, specifically to keep the unit affordable and to avoid it being purchased by developers who might seek to raise prices. Keeping gentrification to a minimum is a core part of the organization’s mission.
“This is the typical spin cycle for neighborhoods is that they find that they’re dis-invested in and then reinvested in and then gentrified,” Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville CEO Dan Rosensweig said. “We can insert them with stable affordable homeownership so they never decay or gentrify in the first place, rather than going back and trying to fix what’s been broken.”
The dedication event was attended by community members, Habitat for Humanity employees, and city officials. Habitat gifted the Talbert family a bible, a framed photo, and a hand-made toolbox.