The St. Benedict neighborhood is now home to six new residents, and this family couldn’t be happier with their new home. The Rais, a Bhutanese family who immigrated to the US in 2014 from a refugee camp in Nepal, closed on a CHWC-built new home on Thursday, November 29.
The Rais’ journey to having a home of their own involved a lot of hard work and many steps. The family of six sought asylum in the United States in 2014 and moved directly from the refugee camp where three out of their four children were born.
“It’s a tough situation,” CHWC Home Sales Manager Claudia Flores said of the refugee camp. She explained that, while living in the camp, the family’s home consisted of a bamboo hut and their meals only of government-rationed food. Considering the stark contrast between then and now, finding a home is a particularly meaningful experience.
Once in the US, the Rais lived in an apartment in Kansas City, Kan., for several years. In June 2018, they began attending CHWC financial management and homebuyer education classes to work toward owning their own home. They applied for HOME funding through CHWC, which they were granted. In addition to receiving a 20% discount on the total price of the home through CHWC, the Rais were also able to use a $1,500 grant from Capital Federal Savings Bank toward the cost of their new home.
“They’re a super amazing family,” Flores said. She was present to coordinate the Rais’ closing to formally hand the keys for the home to the family and cover some important details about their new home warranty.
Closing on a house involves a lot of paperwork. So when the Rais gathered in their new home afterwards, the mood was celebratory. The Rais invited Flores and CHWC Project Development Megan Painter to share the family’s first meal in the house and said a prayer in their native language over the occasion.
Because they were able to move in before Christmas, the Rais are excited to be able to continue one of their favorite traditions during the holiday season. While they were in the apartment, the family missed coming together for “Carol Night” (a direct translation to English from the Rais’ native language), a celebration with singing that takes place on Christmas Eve. While Carol Night was too noisy to hold in a small apartment, the family is excited to be able to return to this tradition again now that they have their own space.
Of course, this is only the beginning of the changes the new home will make in the lives of this family. CHWC welcomes the Rais to our community and looks forward to being neighbors for many years to come.
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