FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — In July of 2021 Lancia Homes and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Fort Wayne announced a new partnership. As a part of the partnership, Lancia would build two new homes for Habitat families in its Victoria Lakes subdivision. Now one of those homes is complete and ready to hand the keys over to the new owners, The Mimpongos.

At a short ceremony Monday, Jamie Lancia, president of Lancia Homes, formally handed over the keys to a brand new home on Victoria Lakes Court to Pathy and Margueritte Mimpongo, former refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Pathy and Margueritte became United States citizens in 2010. They joined the Habitat program here in 2016. Since their arrival, they’ve had four children and their current living situation has become difficult because of their apartment’s limited space. At their new home, they’ll have a good-sized yard and a safe neighborhood to raise their kids.

The Lancia builds follow the Lancia models rather than the Habitat home models to cleanly integrate into the New Haven subdivision. The home is approximately 1,500 square feet, plus a 400 square-foot, 2-car garage. The ranch-style home will offer four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a spacious yard.

Margueritte says she’s most excited about her kids having a place to call home where they can make memories as they grow up. In their free time, the Mimpongos love cooking together, especially traditional African barbeque. Margueritte also spends a lot of time educating her children, which is one of the things she’s most proud of. The kids love playing in the water during the summer, and their son, Israel, loves soccer. Margueritte says it’s her family’s dream to become homeowners and Habitat is making that dream come true.

“A big thank you goes to the volunteers and donors,” Margueritte said. “We really appreciate their time, service, and money. They will always be in our prayers. We pray that God grants them good health, finances, and happiness.”

In honor of the hard-work and gracious spirit that Margueritte has demonstrated during her time as a Habitat partner family, Habitat and Lancia have affectionately named the four-bedroom home model “The Margueritte.”

Jamie Lancia, president of Lancia Homes, developer and builder of Victoria Lakes subdivision off Moeller Road,, said the Mimpongo home is one of two builds this year for Habitat for Humanity. Since his company started partnering with Habitat 25 years ago, the company has been involved in building nine homes. At first, Lancia started with roofing, framing and carpentry, Lancia added.

“We’re looking to strengthen our partnership as we continue to go forward here in 2022,” Lancia said. “Homebuilding is something that is really dear to us and how that impacts a family in the long run,” Lancia said. “Being a prior board member and being involved with Habitat for a number of years, I realized we need to be involved in our community and impact families in our community in a positive way.

“As a business owner, we have a responsibility not only to ourselves, but to members of our community to help everyone that we can in different ways that we can,” Lancia said.

Andrew Gritzmaker, Habitat CEO, told the Mimpongos, “Today is a day of celebration for all your perseverance and your faith in God.”