MIAMI - Just in time for Thanksgiving, a North Miami family got a new roof over their heads thanks to a forgivable loan through Miami-Dade County.
Jammara Mota spends her day teaching in a classroom.
"I love the children," Mota said. "I love being able to pour into 'em."
For years, she would come home to a house that had a roof falling inside of the living room, two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a hallway.
"It's like you're working, you coming home, and it's just tiring," she said. "Sometimes it was very tiring."
Half of the house could not be used. She described using plastic bins all over the house to catch the falling water.
"Because of the water, my exterminator could no longer come and be effective," she said. "So there are a bunch of baby roaches coming into the house, I had to deal with that."
She paid someone to fix it for her.
"I had someone run off with my money, actually," she said.
She applied for a forgivable loan through the Miami-Dade Economic Advocacy Trust, which had just started a new aspect of one of its programs to help homeowners repair their homes with up to $50,000.
"She inherited this home, so we were able to just kind of help her maintain the home despite the increases in the cost of labor and material," Housing Administrator Edwin Miller said, "But also, we're able to put some contractors from targeted urban areas to work to help out."
Miller said the program is meant for low to moderate-income earners in Miami-Dade County, and there are rules.
"You have to want to stay in Miami because like I said, it's a this is a forgivable loan, "Construction & Development Specialist Marquis Best said. "So you have to stay in Miami for 15 years. Don't try to sell your house, don't try to refinance."
If you do sell– the loan has to be paid back. Mota was happy to accept the terms, and that led to one happy holiday
"I was able to have Thanksgiving here and it was beautiful," Mota said. "This year was a different style of thanksgiving. I had like a Bahamian style Thanksgiving, so it was super awesome, and I had people around me that loved me."
Mota's is one of dozens of families to receive the gift of a working home. Mota was part of the last round of forgivable loans but the next round is officially open.
To apply, click here.
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