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Habitat for Humanity of Pinellas and West Pasco Counties celebrated its latest homeowner to earn their keys through the Habitat homeownership program. Monir Safari (Moh-near Sa-fuh-REE) was required to put in 350 sweat equity hours. She did 430 hours. Monir also took 32 homebuyer education classes designed to help Habitat homeowners become self-sufficient once they move into their new homes. Monir, who will reside in Clearwater, purchased her home from Habitat with a 0% fixed-interest mortgage.

This was not just a journey to homeownership for Monir but a journey to achieving the American dream. Monir came to the United States from Iran in 2011. In 2016, she became a U.S. citizen. She applied to the Habitat homeownership program and was accepted on October 24, 2022. And now, at 57, Monir is finally a homeowner.

“This is a great day,” said Monir, who stood on her porch before dozens of friends, family, and Habitat supporters. “I conquered another dream of mine, homeownership in America. Time and again, this journey (felt) like a roller coaster, but ultimately it was one full of learning and new experiences for me.”

After opening the door to her new home, Monir quickly ran out to her car to grab a tray of homemade cookies that she wanted to pass out to everyone who attended her home dedication.

“I have guests,” Monir said with a smile. “They need something to eat!”

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