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Habitat for Humanity begins construction on two north Forsyth homes
Johnson family WEB
The Johnson family. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

Two families are one nail closer to owning their own homes in north Forsyth after a local nonprofit helped them begin the build.

Habitat for Humanity-North Central Georgia recently held a “First Nail” ceremony for two homes being built on Hubert Martin Drive off Matt Highway (Hwy. 369), with more than 40 volunteers participating in the first day of construction.

Habitat is a Christian housing ministry that builds affordable homes for purchase by low-income families who demonstrate “the capacity for responsible homeownership.”

Since its inception in 1995, the local chapter has completed 278 homes serving an estimated 1,000 family members in the north Fulton area and Cherokee, Dawson and Forsyth counties.

Families, who earn 30-60 percent of the Atlanta area median income, buy their homes at or near appraised value with 30-year no-interest financing provided by Habitat.

They must attend educational classes and perform 200-300 hours of construction “sweat equity” on their homes.

When all is said and done, the Johnson family and the Mawi/Kawl families will have their very own house among a total of four homes that will be built over the next eight months on this street. Three of the four were donated by the REO program through Wells Fargo.

“My children are so excited about having their own home,” said Sabrina Johnson at the ceremony. “My oldest daughter has been counting the days, every day, to the start of the build.”

The Forsyth County native will live in the home with her three children, Brooklyn, 9, Ty, 5, and Lacey, 3. She has been a single mother for almost four years and has worked as a dental assistant for the last three years.

The Johnson family had their home sponsored by Publix Super Market Charities.

“With the $80,000 grant that was awarded, the foundation will have donated nearly $500,000 in support of our ministry since 2008 – providing the primary funding for 11 new Habitat homes in our service area,” said Russ Hayes, Habitat North Central Georgia CEO.

Sanhup Mawi and his wife, Annie Kawl, are helping to build their home on the same street.

The couple left Myanmar after experiencing oppression. After spending two years in Malaysia, they were granted passage to the United States in 2010.

They have three children: Morning, 12, Carolyn, 9, and Joseph, 2.

Mawi has worked at Tyson Foods in Cumming for the last three years.

His comments at the ceremony were brief.

“God bless you all.”