It’s something most everyone wants.  A home to call their own.  While not everyone has that luxury, this is the time of the year where Habitat for Humanity starts helping families turn their  dreams into a reality. 

They say a home is where the heart is, and now the Nyndwi family has a lot bigger heart. 

“I love my room,” Elivanette Minani said. 

The family, originally from Burundi, Africa had six people living in a small apartment in Sioux Falls. Now, they have a 5 bedroom home to call their own. We were at the dedication for the family back in June, and their smiles haven’t gone away.

“When we were in our apartment, the apartment was so small that we really did not fit in there. It was just too small, but having this house is really a huge blessing to us because we do have privacy from each other and sometimes we just need a break from one another so I think that’s a really huge positive thing,” Minani said. 

Now, it’s time for other people to get one step closer to experiencing that same feeling. From now until February 17th, Habitat for Humanity is accepting applications to help people get a home.  

“Habitat helps those folks who are in that income bracket to achieve their dream of home ownership but they also become a mortgage payer just like the rest of us,” Lisa Ross said. 

The non-profit started building homes in Sioux Falls in 1981 and has built 150 homes since then. This year’s goal is 10 new homes. 

To qualify for the program in the Sioux Falls area, you need to be in an certain income bracket with the ability to pay for some of the cost of the home. You will pay a zero percent interest mortgage. Applicants also have to work in Minnehaha, Lincoln, or Turner Counties within the past 12 months, as well as be a U.S. Citizen or permanent legal resident. Last year, 80 applicantions were turned in to Sioux Falls. Family Services Coordinator Lisa Ross says this shows the need for help is there. 

“So we see a lot of applicants that just are struggling to find affordable housing of any type in Sioux Falls,” Ross said. 

Ross says it’s even more difficult for single or two person homes to find affordable homes compared to larger families. She says it’s great to see the people get a place they never thought they would have. 

“There really is this whole segment of the population that just is not able to purchase the homes that are available in our community. It’s just out of their reach but they’re hard-working, they’re families who are working and earning an income. It’s just not high enough for them to reach that housing market that’s out there for them,” Ross said. 

This is not a direct gift either. Families are required to work at least 200 hours with education classes and construction until the home is completed. Minani says that makes her home that much better. 

“The more you put in it the hours the more you want it because you can know that you worked for it. It’s not just something was handed to it,” Minani said.  

We showed you what it was like for the family the day they moved into their new home. Now, months later, the home looks more lived in, but that doesn’t mean Habitat For Humanity is no longer in their lives. Recently, the family received property tax information in the mail, and they got help from the non-profit about how to fill it out. 

“An amazing way to know that they’re there. That they didn’t just give us the house and gave up on us but they are still there, that you can go there and get help when you need it,” Minani said. 

This family is living their dream, and they want to encourage others to apply to make their dreams come true.

“For me I think it’s the best thing ever. To see where we were before to this house is a huge change so I think that brought our family together,” Minani said. 

If you are interested in applying for the program, there is a orientation you can attend. 

It’s on Saturday January 28th from 1 to 3 P.M. at the Downtown Library in Sioux Falls. 

For more information, you can visit the Great Sioux Falls Habitat For Humanity Website.