GRANGER - The Ang family, soon to be of Granger, finally has a place where their three young boys can play outside, a kitchen large enough for wife Erika to be comfortable while making dinner and enough space to give everyone in the family a little extra room.
Wednesday afternoon, the Ang family celebrated the dedication of their new home at 310 Fifth St. in Granger. The home, which was made possible through the Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity organization, has three bedrooms and a little added personality.
Laura Carnagey with Yakima Valley Partners Habitat for Humanity explained that while building the home the family had a chance to make some decisions in regards to the color of tile they wanted in the kitchen and the color of carpeting they wanted in the bedrooms. Carnagey then pointed to the red door that marks the entrance to the house, noting that it was a special touch selected by the family.
The Ang family, made up of husband Rene, wife Erica and their three children, Rene Jr., 7, Eric, 5, and Levi, 1-1/2, are planning on officially moving into their new home this Friday. The family currently lives in a two-bedroom apartment in Toppenish. Rene noted that his mortgage payment will actually be less per month than what he was paying in rent.
One of the reasons the Angs' mortgage payment is so affordable is because the family spent 500 hours working on the construction of their own house. Carnagey said Rene would work on the house after putting in an eight-hour day at his job. She added that Erica could often be found working at the house surrounded by her three "helpers."
Also helping the Angs build their home were volunteers from Yakima Federal Savings and Loan. According to Pete Bansmer, president of Yakima Federal Savings and Loan, more than 100 volunteers from different branches of the bank volunteered more than 1,000 hours on the project.
Bansmer said Wednesday during the dedication ceremony that it was a change of pace for financial lenders to be out working on a roof in the heat of the day.
"We were delighted to have a chance to work with Habitat," Bansmer said.
Work on the Ang house started in May with the pouring of the foundation. After that volunteers, along with the Ang family, and neighbors from the community, gathered together to help pound nails into wall frames and hammer up sheet rock.
During the dedication ceremony Rene took time to thank everyone who helped build the house.
"Thanks to everyone in the community who helped and I hope it continues for others in the community," Rene said.
Although work on the Ang house started in the spring, Rene and Erika started their journey towards home ownership last year. Rene said he received an application for the Habitat for Humanity program through his pastor, Enedeo Garza Jr. of the Iglesia Del Valle in Toppenish. After being accepted into the program last fall, Rene and Erika started attending home ownership classes. Carnagey explained that through the classes the Angs learned about everything from house care and budgeting to gardening.
"They learned about so many things," Carnagey said.
Now that the Angs are getting ready to move into their new home, Rene said he feels happy.
"I always wanted to have a house," Rene said. "Here I am very content because we have a place for our kids to play."