Habitat For Humanity helps to provide people with homes all around the community, and on February 3 they celebrate the dedication of their 43rd home.
On the morning of February 3, the Kochagian family walked into their new home with snow under their feet and smiles on their faces.
The new home provides Melissa and her three children with an environment more suited for raising a family than their last home.
"It was just more of an overused, kind of run-down apartment. There was a lot of mice that lived in there with us as well," discloses new homeowner, Melissa Kochagian.
The move gives the family a fresh start in a new place, a fresh start that would not have been possible without a little help from Habitat For Humanity.
Kahya Fox, Executive Director of La Crosse Area Habitat For Humanity describes the mission of their organization, "Habitat really is truly committed to providing affordable housing in our community, and we believe wholeheartedly that everyone deserves a decent, safe, and affordable place to live."
Habitat works to put families in more suitable environments while empowering them to be able to finance their own home.
Fox elaborates, "We actually sell the home to Melissa at the actual appraised value of the home, so the value of the home is what Melissa will be paying."
They do this in an effort to ensure a successful future for Melissa and her family, "Our habitat homeowners actually will get a mortgage at 0% interest over 30 years," continues Fox, "We want to be sure that they are going to be successful home-owners, that they have the ability to pay a mortgage and the commitment to pay a mortgage."
The new house is ready for the family to move in, but some work still needs to be done before their new house becomes a home.
Kochagian describes, "We are going to think about getting a fence and maybe even a deck with a hot tub someday, you never know. We've got lots of plans."
All that Melissa and the Kochagian family have left now is to move in.
"I'm really overwhelmed and I am just excited to bring my old house over here, and just start living here," Kochagian describes.
Melissa's new home is the first of seven houses in La Crosse that Habitat For Humanity is building on the corner of 5th and Mississippi.