Lincoln woman says new home from Habitat will make her ‘super mother’

House built with insulated concrete may be the first of many

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – For 19 years, a Lincoln mother has been partially paralyzed and unable to freely move around her home.

But Thursday she received the keys to her new home, which is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

It will not only give her and her family a fresh start but might also change the way we think about building homes, especially affordable housing.

“As a mother, you want to do your best for your children, and you want your children to rely on you,” said the mother, Awel Dong. “This home is not just a dream home; it’s a home that will make me a super mother.”

On top of being able to move freely in her new home, she is excited to get in the kitchen and make African food.

“This kitchen, it’s going to give me a lot of space to move freely,” she said. “When I get tired, I can just sit on my wheelchair and just do my magic in this kitchen.”

This home is the first one that Habitat for Humanity built using insulated concrete forms.

“This one will save the family around 50% on their utility costs,” said Darryl Ulrich, regional advisor for Fox Blocks, which made the concrete forms.

Building the home out of insulated concrete not only makes it harder for anything to penetrate the walls but is also a more affordable option.

“The lumber industry had some snags in the last couple of years, with pricing,” Ulrich said. “When you factor in all the benefits that you have with an insulated concrete form, and building a structure, you’re going to save that money, plus.”

Dong was excited about the way her home was built, saying she was “so blessed.”

Dong said she loves to sing and dance to music and can’t wait to play her music loud without bothering the neighbors, as she has concrete walls.

“I have a speaker in my house,” she said. “I play music, I put worship songs, and we sing and we dance.”

Habitat for Humanity of Lincoln said it is entirely locally supported.

“Every donation has been made locally. Every volunteer comes from the Lincoln community,” said Deanna Walz, director of development. “This is Lincoln helping Lincoln.”

Dong is hoping to share this joy with others who may be in need.

“I’m praying for families like me. I’m praying for mothers like me to have this kind of blessing,” she said. “There are a lot of people who have needs in this community. People don’t know them, but there are a lot of people like me who need a home like this.”

The pandemic did slow down the process of building this home, but the family is so excited to finally move in.

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