April 23, 2014 6:10 pm

Family of 14 receives a new home from Habitat for Humanity

TORONTO – Habitat for Humanity is setting out to build one of its largest projects ever in Toronto – a house for a family of 14.

José and Tanya Costa, along with their 12 children, will be given the keys to their home in July.

“We’re filming here today at my mom’s house because of the ill-repair in my home,” Tanya Costa said.

The size of the Costa family has made it difficult for them to find appropriate living arrangements. The Costas had been living in a four bedroom house which was simply too small with 12 kids.

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“It’s really frustrating having a family that you love so much and a place that you don’t want to live in, but when we look for other places to live, nobody wants 12 children to rent to,” she said.

Habitat for Humanity often builds modular homes for families in need. The agency provides families with zero-interest mortgages with payments set as 30 per cent of their gross income.  The plan is set up this way, according to the Habitat for Humanity website, to allow the family to “build assets” and “reduce their dependence” on social assistance.

“For our criteria, a family needs to be living in need, which is unhealthy, unsafe, often crowded living conditions,” Michelle Lopes, a manager of the family service program at Habitat for Humanity said.

“They’re going to move from five bedrooms to eight bedrooms which will give them an abundance of space,” Lopes said. “[They are putting in] ‘sweat equity’ work and that’s counted as their down payment.”

Tanya said she was “ecstatic” and “screaming” when she found out she would be given the home.

Global Television staff plan to help on-site with the Costa family.  Watch as we chronicle the steps toward building a new home.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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