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Another family in its Habitat

Corinne Rouse-Kay and her son, David Kay, will be moving into a new home in August. At groundbreaking ceremonies Monday, the new Habitat for Humanity family turned over a shovelful of dirt to officially inaugurate the beginning of a blitz-build by a group of volunteers from Menlo Park, Calif. - Gayle Saran
Corinne Rouse-Kay and her son, David Kay, will be moving into a new home in August. At groundbreaking ceremonies Monday, the new Habitat for Humanity family turned over a shovelful of dirt to officially inaugurate the beginning of a blitz-build by a group of volunteers from Menlo Park, Calif.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

Corinne Rouse-Kay and her 9-year-old son David Kay will have a new home in August on Sun Vista Drive and Bayview Road in Langley.

That makes David very happy.

"This is the first time I've ever lived in a house we really owned," he said.

The mother-son pair is the sixth family in Island County to receive a Habitat for Humanity home. The organization, which builds homes for families who otherwise could not afford them, is helping Rouse-Kay and her son own a piece of the American dream.

Rouse-Kay, who works at Clinton Nursery, moved to Whidbey Island from Shoreline about 16 months ago. For the past year, she and her son lived in a fifth-wheel trailer. They received the news that they were selected for the Habitat home a year to the day after their move to Whidbey Island.

"Words really can't describe how I am feeling," Rouse-Kay said. "I told David not to get his hopes up when we first applied, but he always believed we would be chosen."

Their new home will sit on a treed lot in a quiet neighborhood and will have two bedrooms, a greatroom, kitchen and living area, plus a garden shed in the backyard.

Mother and son moved to the island to get away from the city life in Shoreline. Rouse-Kay said she is sure island living will be good for David.

"I wanted a home, a stable environment to raise my son in," Rouse-Kay said.

Her Habitat home is expected to be completed in August. A group of 17 parishioners from St. Bede's Episcopal Church in Menlo Park, Calif. are here from June 17 to 21 for a "blitz-build" and will construct the majority of the house's frame in that time. The volunteers range in age from 14 to 80 and are being hosted by St. Augustine's-in-the Woods Episcopal Church in Freeland.

"With the help of Whidbey Island volunteers and the enthusiastic group from St. Bede's, we plan to have all exterior walls up, exterior sheeting, all doors and windows in, and the trusses and roof completed in those five days," said Bruce Jones, the president Island County Habitat for Humanity.

Twenty-five applications came into Habitat for this year's home. The organization's selection committee went through those applications in a four-month process, eventually choosing Rouse-Kay's as the best investment of the organization's time and money.

"Families are selected carefully because we are building for success," Jones said.

Once a family and a building site are selected for a habitat home, volunteers go to work building. Labor is done by volunteers, and many of the materials are donated by local businesses.

A Habitat family doesn't pay a down payment or interest on a house mortgage. They start paying a mortgage upon completion of the house.

Rouse-Kay and David, like other Habitat homeowners, will volunteer their time to work on their home.

"It's called sweat equity," Jones said. "It gives the new owners a vested interest in their new home."

To add a little more personal interest in the house, mother and her son put a lucky 1946 nickel, a penny from 2001 --the year they moved to Whidbey Island -- and David's initials into the house's concrete foundation.

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