After hundreds of hours of work, Concord woman gets Habitat for Humanity house

CONCORD, N.C. — It was a life-changing moment for a single mother in Cabarrus County on Wednesday as she got the keys to her long-awaited Habitat for Humanity house.

“We homeowners, y’all!” cheered Tanika Farris of Concord. She and her 19-year-old daughter, Shawniyah, are opening the door to not just their new home, but to their new life.

“It means stability, you know? I will always have a place I call home. I can pass it down to my kids, my kids to my grandkids, and I don’t have to worry about a landlord having the keys to my house because I got my own keys,” Farris told Channel 9 on Wednesday.

Planning out their move was even more rewarding for the mother-daughter duo because they put in hundreds of hours of work on their new home. Shawniyah told Channel 9 she can’t wait to get settled.

“I am going to get up, use my new bathroom, come back to my new room, get dressed in my new room, and then start all over again,” Shawniyah said.

It’s a small victory in the larger battle of affordable housing in North Carolina. The family is just one of thousands looking for a place of their own without breaking the bank. One local housing agency, We Build Concord, told Channel 9 that the area is short by more than 4,000 affordable units.

At the same time, the nonprofit Cooperative Christian Ministry says it has seen a 71% increase in applicants for its housing program, going from an average of 38 applications per month in the first quarter of the year to 65 per month in the second quarter. The nonprofit’s financial assistance program saw a similar rise, going from 92 applications per month to an average of 154 per month.

Shawniyah said moving into a new house brings a new sense of relief.

“I feel like it’s going to be really different not waking up the next day not knowing if my mom will have to pay the bills or anything,” Shawniyah said.

Tanika Farris said she feels blessed by the opportunity from Habitat for Humanity. The pair will move into the house next week.

>>If you’re in need of housing assistance, you can find resources on our site at this link.

(WATCH BELOW: Habitat for Humanity works to keep up with increased demand in affordable housing)

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