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Posted on Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 11:58 a.m.

Habitat for Humanity dedicates latest house to single mother in Ypsilanti

By Kody Klein


Keishia Tooson will be the first member of her family to own a home in her name.

Daniel Brenner I

Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley will dedicate its latest home, the Ferrantino House, to an Ypsilanti family at 2 p.m. February 3, at 1314 Rue Willette, Ypsilanti.


Porter said all Habitat homes are renovated to Energy Star standards.

Daniel Brenner I

"I'm actually the first person in my family to own a home in my own name," she said. "This is very exciting for my family and myself. My kids are very excited."

Tooson applied for a Habitat home last April. After she was accepted into the program, she, like all Habitat homeowners, had to attend 25 hours worth of home ownership classes and donate 200 hours of "sweat equity" into her future home and other homes that Habitat was renovating.

"I'm well-educated on how the home ownership works because of Habitat," she said. "I've learned a lot of things doing construction on other habitat homes."

Maggie Porter, development director for Habitat, said Tooson has given a lot to the project.

“She’s a great mom working really hard and sacrificing a lot to make sure her kids can have the best future she can provide for them," she said.

Porter said, depending on family size, people who apply for a Habitat house must earn between 30 to 60 percent of area median hourly income, which Porter says is $12 to $18 in the Washtenaw County area.

Though she was unable to provide exact details, Porter estimated the home was purchased by Habitat for roughly $40,000 and will sell for about $100,000.

"Every family that comes through our program buys the homes from habitat," she said. "We like to say it’s a hand-up, not a handout."

Tooson will sign a zero-interest mortgage for the house roughly two weeks after the dedication on Feb. 3.

Porter said the Ferrantino Foundation was the primary sponsor for Tooson's home.

"They were connected to us and pretty passionate about our family as well," she said.

Additionally, Porter said many community members and organizations donated time and materials to the home renovation.

"It’s really amazing how much the community comes together to support what we do," she said.

Porter said all Habitat homes also are renovated to Energy Star standards thanks to appliances donated by Whirlpool, insulation by DOW, and donations from other progressive local businesses.

"It ends up being extra work and extra dollars, but the pay-off ends up being so great in terms of environmental rewards," she said. "We also see that going the extra step means that the property values of the whole community go up as well."



Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 12:09 p.m.

A house at $ 40 000 to sell for $ 100 000 that not the problem with the houseing in general? ThAT profit line is WAY out of line! SO how much is the property taxe?


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 5:45 p.m.

Our houses are sold for the appraised value or the costs incurred during the remolding process, which ever is lower. We are a non-profit.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 2:48 p.m.

It's because habitat gets grants that low the price the family pays for the house.

Yogi Hesterly

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 3:09 a.m.

A blessing for a wonderful mother & my little cousins! I didn't get a chance to paint but I'm sure I'll be moving some furniture. :) love you guy's!


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 3:08 a.m.

I'm happy for them but concerned that there is no snow on the roof. It makes me wonder about the amount of insulation up there.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

There's 18" of blown in cellulose in the attic. We are trying to achieve an R-50 insulation value in the attic. To meet Energy Star Standards a house must pass several inspections including the amount of insulation in the attic. I know all this because I am an employee for Habitat for Humanity of Huron Valley.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 12:20 a.m.

Our roof has a good 6 inches of snow on it as do the roofs of our neighbors. No, I don't think it "blew off".


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

Have you experienced the winds and light snows recently? The snow probably blew off.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 10:34 p.m.

This is a nice effort by everybody. Too bad it is so close to Macarthur Blvd


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 6:58 p.m.

Congratulations to the Tooson's! may God Bless you all.

Linda Peck

Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 6:17 p.m.

This is such a wonderful event and it is thrilling to hear about it. Congratulations to the Tooson family!


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 5:38 p.m.

Rue Willette is not "Ypsilanti," it's Ypsilanti Township. Nice looking family. Congrats to them and may they enjoy their new home.