New home has family celebrating Christmas again


SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. - Just a few days before Christmas, a Seminole County family received a home thanks to a federal program that provides money to fix up foreclosures.

Walking through the door of her new Oviedo home was almost too much for Judi Christophersen.

"Unbelievable. I'm going to finally have a home for Christmas. We're both going to have a home for Christmas," said Christophersen.

After weeks of putting in her own sweat-equity, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom Habitat for Humanity home is hers.

"If it's the only thing in the house, we're going to have a Christmas tree right here in the middle," said Christophersen.

She said she will be celebrating Christmas for the first time in nearly a decade. She and her son, Robben Christophersen, haven't had a place to call their own since her husband died of a rare disease seven years ago this month.

"I just wanted Christmas to go away, and now -- a new lease on life, a new lease on life. I feel like he's looking down on us and smiling," said Judi Christophersen.

The repairs to the former foreclosure were paid for with federal money from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. That program helps local governments buy homes and refurbish them in an effort to help fix up struggling communities.

From repairs to cosmetic work -- the Neighborhood Stabilization Program will help Habitat for Humanity do five more homes in Seminole County over the next year, officials said.

The county has plans to buy and flip 25 foreclosed properties through the help of program.
Robben Christophersen, 19, said he plans to work on any that he can.

"For what they've done for us, I definitely want to give back to them," said Robben Christophersen.
So far, Seminole County has received $4 million in federal grants to fix up foreclosed homes.