Thanks to a collaboration between the city of Boynton Beach, Boynton Community Redevelopment Agency and Habitat for Humanity of South Palm Beach County, two Delray Beach families will soon move into new homes of their own.
The partnership between the entities on the Model Block project has been going on since 2012. Located within the Heart of Boynton District and the Poinciana Gardens neighborhood, between NW 10th and NW 11th Avenues, the Model Block project consists of the development of 16 new single-family homes, seven of which have been completed, and infrastructure improvements within the NW 11th Avenue right-of-way. The total cost of the NW 11th Avenue project is approximately $475,000.
Last month, officials completed the project at NW 11th Ave. and broke ground on two new Habitat homes.
City officials were joined by Habitat for Humanity representatives, presenting home sponsors Boca-based Sklar Furnishings and Publix Supermarket Charities and the future homeowners Gretta Ceasar and Reginald Moss.
Their homes will be the first two of five built as part of the “Project Uplift” program. The homes will be new, affordable three-bedroom, two-bath homes in the CRA district. Habitat will provide zero-interest mortgages to the qualified homebuyer.
Meet the future homebuyers:
The Moss Family
Reginald Moss is a Delray native. His parents separated when he was 8-years-old and he lived most of his childhood with his paternal grandmother. After graduating from Atlantic Community High School, he moved in with his maternal grandparents where his two chronically ill aunts were also living. He took on the responsibility of assisting to care for them until they passed away. He learned early in life that caring for family is a labor of love. Having a strained income and the added weight of a failing relationship, he could not pursue his dreams of purchasing his own home as a young adult. Moss continued to reside in his grandparents’ home while taking on the responsibility of fatherhood.
He is a father to five children: Reginald Jr., Shanikque, Breanna, Ryan and the youngest Reagan, whom currently lives with him now.
For the past 18 years, Moss has worked in nutritional services at Delray Medical Center. It was there that Reginald befriended a Habitat homeowner who introduced him to the program and explained how Habitat for Humanity works with aspiring first time homeowners. He applied for the program and was denied due to credit issues. For the next year, he dedicated himself to budgeting and working hard to improve his finances. When the next application cycle opened, he reapplied and was accepted.
He is committed to paying off his mortgage and owning a home to pass on to his children. He is excited about mowing his own lawn and taking on future home repairs.
The Ceasar Family
Gretta Ceasar moved to Delray Beach from Alabama when she was 14 after her parents divorced. Gretta and her six siblings lived with her uncle, while her mother worked tirelessly to provide for her family. Gretta often took on the responsibility of helping her mother clean homes after school to contribute financially. Eventually they saved enough money to purchase a home.
Upon graduating from New England Tech with an associate degree in science, she got married and followed her husband to Florence, Ala. After facing years of domestic abuse, she left her husband and returned to Delray.
A few months later, she found out she was pregnant. After a difficult labor, her son Marcus was born with several congenital disorders. The doctors believed Marcus wouldn’t live long but with the continuous help of occupational and speech therapy he was able to work through his disabilities.
In April 2015, she was diagnosed with stage three Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. After eight months of extensive treatment, the doctors found more cancer. She was ready to give up but when the tests eventually came back benign, she chose to see this as God giving her another chance. Gretta had a new outlook on life and decided to volunteer at a local voting poll. Another volunteer encouraged her to apply for a Habitat home. She filled out an application and was invited to the future homeowner orientation.
She has worked at Palm Tran for about 6 years and has been saving for a home. After 3 years, she is thrilled to move out of her mother’s house and give her son a place to call home. On July 14, she welcomed a new grandson, Malik, into their family.