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Woodbridge Family Has ‘Habitat’ For New Home

Steve Thomas, best known for his role on PBS’ This old House, celebrate with Kelly Furtadoas after the water is turned on for the newly installed water conserving toilet and no leaks were found. (Mary Davidson/

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — It’s not often the community comes together to build a new house for neighbors.

But that’s what’s happening for Mahammad Islam and his wife Rebaya Kahtoon who will move into a new home on Traverser Court in Woodbridge at the end of the month.

It will be the first home of their own since they moved to the U.S. , and they’re doing it with the help of Habitat for Humanity of Prince William County, and with the knowhow of TV home guru Steve Thomas from Renovation Nation and This Old House. Thomas worked alongside volunteers Friday who were installing bathroom vanities and fixtures, kitchen appliances, switch plates, outlet covers the at what will be their new home in Woodbridge.

Habitat for Humanity Prince William County Director Traci DeGroat said it was exciting to have the experience which included a reception with food and drink.

“It was funny, we were there for a reception and we were all drinking hot chocolate, but there were no toilets,” said DeGroat.

It was a fun experience for volunteers, but it’s a serious one that means a new home for homeowners-to-be Islam and Kahtoon. Both work at Walmart and McDonalds, respectively, have a son studying at Virginia Tech and a daughter taking classes at Northern Virginia Community College.

The family is already paying down payments on this house, and paying rent at their current home.

This is the fifth house Habitat for Humanity Prince William has purchased, refurbished, and then sold back to the homeowners at cost. In order to qualify for the program, applicants must make anywhere between 30 and 50 percent of the median Washington-area income, show a willingness to partner with Habitat, have income, tax, and credit records checked, and must already pay 30 percent or more of their total income on housing expenses.

DeGroat said the application process is based on need, so those who are homeless, living in crowded conditions, or with relatives often qualify.

Habitat for Humanity Prince William since 2007 has helped more than 100 people in the area with home repairs, refurbishing, and has built eight houses from the ground up, said DeGroat.

A ceremony welcoming Islam and Kahtoon will be held Nov. 29.

Mahammad Islam and his wife Rebaya Kahtoon stand proudly in front of their soon to be newly renovated home in Woodbridge. (Mary Davidson/

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