Habitat Family: Meet, Yiizet
A day in the life of single mom, Yiizet Tomb, is one that is familiar to a lot of us. Born in Colombia, Yiizet migrated to Dallas six years ago with her 14-year old daughter and two-year old son.
She’s the type of person who’s ‘doing it all’ by working full time and managing a young family with all of the financial responsibility that comes with it. She’s not alone, The American Community Survey reports that 30% of children in Dallas are growing up in single family homes.
After moving around several times due to increased rent prices, Yiizet discovered Dallas Area Habitat through a Facebook post. She wasn’t sure she’d qualify to be a Habitat Family as a single mother and was hesitant to apply. She’d later come to realize that submitting the application changed her life forever.
Lack of Rent Control in Dallas
Similar to many of our Habitat families, Yiizet quickly fell victim to the lack of rent control in Dallas. Texas has no state law in place that controls the landlord’s ability to raise rent beyond a certain threshold per year. Apartmentlist.com reports that Dallas-Fortworth rent has skyrocketed 15.3% overall in the past year, with some areas reporting an increase of 30%.
This leaves families like Yiizet’s in a difficult spot. With no regulation in place to control how much landlords can raise the rent, Yiizet and her children were left moving from apartment to apartment due to her inability to be able to afford rent. This situation is unfortunately a common one as many families in Dallas spend more than half their income on housing – 1 in 6 to be exact.
Yiizet described the lack of rent control as her biggest challenge. She said, “Our biggest challenge has been the ability to afford a three-bedroom apartment. We had to keep moving from apartment to apartment. [Owning a home] will give us more stability and we won’t have to move around anymore.”
70% of jobs in the Dallas metro area do not pay enough to sustain a single mom with one child
Reported the Texas Women’s Foundation in 2019 in their annual report. In that same report they also stated they found 30% of households in the Dallas Metro Area are female-headed, yet 53% of those households are living in poverty.
Like Yiizet, single mothers have the odds stacked against them – which is why it is crucial housing solutions are put in place to provide safety and stability to them and their children.
Journey to Homeownership
Once Yiizet contacted Habitat her eyes were set on homeownership as a way to provide stability for her family. “Once I read about the program it became my dream to purchase my first home. I saw Dallas Habitat as an opportunity to buy a home regardless of being a single mother.”
Yiizet completed hours of homeownership education courses where she learned budgeting, mortgage repayments, taxes and finance foundations. She described that part of her journey as “the biggest surprise” and “her favorite part”.
Now that she is a Habitat homeowner Yiizet is excited for her and her family’s future. She finished the interview by saying, “I can’t wait to decorate my own house, have a backyard for the first time in my life, be able to play with my kids and grow flowers with them. I want to live in a neighborhood that is family oriented where we all take care of each other, and also make sure that everything looks clean and pretty. My children will experience that experience for the first time, we have always lived in an apartment.”
If you’re considering donating to Habitat for Humanity, or would like to learn more about becoming a volunteer, please reach out to us at info@Dallas-Habitat.org. All donations are tax deductible and are used to helping families like Yiizet’s across Dallas.