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Habitat for Humanity hands over keys to Downtown Lebanon home

Five years after coming to America, Lebanon resident Rabecca Ngugi and her family finally have a home.

LEBANON, Pa. — A Lebanon resident officially received the keys to her first home in the U.S.

Rabecca Ngugi and Lancaster Lebanon Habitat for Humanity have been working together to renovate a house on the 400 block of Cumberland Street in Downtown Lebanon, where she will now live with her family.

Ngugi completed 250 sweat equity hours working on the build site. She also took homeowner classes such as financial literacy and home maintenance as part of Habitat for Humanity's first-time homebuyer requirements.

The dedication ceremony celebrated the end of construction, Ngugi's completion of the requirements and officially giving the keys to the homeowner. The house was also blessed during the dedication.

"This is a dream that has come true," Ngugi said. "It's been five years now and about a month since I came to America, and I think it's a dream for every American to own a home."

The acquisition gives Ngugi and her family a new home in the midst of the ongoing housing crisis. They purchased the house from Habitat for Humanity with an affordable, 0% interest mortgage.

The project was in progress for over a year before the family received the keys on June 17. Construction started in January 2020, finally culminating with the dedication ceremony in June 2022.

The renovated house was the second of three to be completed on the same block. Habitat for Humanity acquired the houses in 2018 to be restored after sustaining severe fire damage. This was the latest home on the block to be finished, with one more remaining.

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