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Homeowner StoryHurricane Recovery

The Power of Partnership and Preservation

Connie in front of her fully repaired and restored home in the MLK community

At Habitat for Humanity, our vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. While constructing safe and affordable homes is crucial, it’s not the only approach to achieving our vision. We also believe in the importance of preserving existing homes.

That’s why we have partnered with the Fort Myers Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) to offer an Owner-Occupied Home Preservation Program. This program provides home preservation services to eligible homeowners in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) area who have open code violations.

“Allowing us to have this partnership with the Fort Myers CRA gives us the opportunity to help homeowners look for the assistance they need without the burden of the cost,” Habitat Director of Home Resilience and Preservation Daniela Rambhajan said.

Through the program, Connie, a homeowner in the MLK community, was able to have her home reroofed and other exterior improvements completed. “They totally stripped the roof down to the studs and put Humpty back together again,” Connie said of the renovations to her home.

Connie happily stands in the doorway of her fully repaired home in the MLK community.

With repairs now complete, Connie expressed relief and gratitude to the program for helping her avoid getting fined for her open code violation. She shared that her home holds great significance for her, her children, and the rest of the family, who have all resided in the house for 20 years.

While the program’s offerings range from window repairs to roof replacement, it preserves far more than just physical structures. “My husband of 50 years was born in this house, and he went to heaven from this house,” Connie said. Thanks to the partnership between Habitat and the CRA, Connie was able to preserve her house and her family history in a community they’ve cherished for generations.

Connie said the process was easy. “I never felt put off or pushed to the side,” she shared of her experience with the program. “That worst part of my life is past me. My house is repaired and fully restored. I thank God and appreciate Habitat every day.”

The first step to receiving assistance through the Home Preservation Program is to complete the contact form on our website. If you’re eligible, you will then receive an application.

To complete the form or learn more about the program please visit