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Habitat for Humanity welcomes family into new East Moline home

This is the non-profit's 119th house in the Quad Cities, this time for a family of seven Ugandan refugees.

EAST MOLINE, Ill. — A family moved into their new home on Saturday, Sept. 25 in East Moline, thanks to the help of Habitat for Humanity.

The non-profit began building the home in August 2020. This is the 119th house its built in the Quad Cities. Saturday Habitat for Humanity welcomed the new family with its traditional dedication ceremony. 

Aissatou Assaganda and Aminou Alabani were given their keys and housewarming gifts, such as a personalized quilt for each person; a pineapple statue, signifying a blessing and hospitality; and various household items. 

They joined the Habitat for Humanity program in 2018 and have been helping build the house and learning how to be homeowners. 

"It's so great to see the smiles on their faces and to see all their hard work paying off," said Rebecca Ludin, Family Services Director and Volunteer Coordinator. "I know they're really happy, and I'm extremely happy for them. They really deserve this."

Outside the house is an apple tree, planted in honor of their daughter who passed away at five years old right before they broke ground on the house. 

Ludin added that because affordable housing is so difficult to find in the Quad Cities, programs like Habitat for Humanity are more important than ever. 

"Affordable homeownership is a great opportunity for a hand up ,and to be able to make mortgage payments instead of paying unaffordable rent prices is going to help that family gain wealth and gain some equity and help lift them up and hopefully succeed for years and generations to come," Ludin said.