KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) --A family of seven is the proud new owner of a home on Virgina Avenue in Knoxville. Originally from Burundi, Africa, family members said they moved to America almost five years ago to escape violence and a lack of food. But even here, they had to live apart for financial reasons.
"Now things will be easier. Because in our apartments, we always had food at my grandpa's house, so now I don't have to walk so far to eat," said Elisa Sindayigaya, who will live in the home with his grandparents, mother, brother, sister and cousin.
On Wednesday, Knoxville Habitat for Humanity partnered with Home Federal Bank to grant their wish of living under one roof.
"All of us, at some point in our lives have a real dream to own a home. To be able to achieve that dream of owning their own home is very special for them, and it's very special for us at Home Federal Bank to be able to be a part of that," said Dale Keasling, with Home Federal Bank.
Habitat for Humanity said the family worked hard for the 5-bedroom, 2-bathroom house.
"They have to earn 500 hours of sweat equity before they can qualify for the house - it kind of works as their down payment. They do that from going to classes - everything from budget to nutrition and maintenance and construction," said Phil Watson, with Habitat for Humanity.
Sindayigaya has his room all picked out:
"It's closest to the bathroom and second closest to the kitchen!" he said.
Sindayigaya said his family is grateful to everyone who helped make their dream possible.
"I think they're all great and I thank them for building us this house," he said.
He said he's looking forward to everyone relaxing together in the living room.