costafamilyCanadian Home Trends Magazine is excited to announce a partnership with Modular and Habitat for Humanity Toronto. Over the next few months, we will be working with Modular and Habitat for Humanity Toronto to bring you an inside look at the process involved in providing a family with a Habitat home. We will be following the Costa family as their home is being built.

The Costas are a large and loving family who care and look out for one another like only a family does. Jose and Tanya and their 12 children do not yearn for monetary luxuries. For them, their love and affection for each other is more than enough. But sometimes even such blessings cannot make up for the lack of the most basic necessities of life.

For Jose and Tanya, providing for their family which includes 4 children under the age of twelve with special needs due to a diagnosis of autism, has been a challenge, exacerbated by little space and declining housing conditions. The Costas aren’t greedy. In fact, their children thrive on the kind of closeness that comes with sharing a bedroom with three people to a room. What’s troubling the Costas these days is the house that’s falling down around them. It would be easy enough to move, with a little fore planning, if the Costas knew of any other place that would take them. For a family of 14, renting is not easy. Landlords are not keen to rent to such a large family and the Costas are often turned away.

Since Jose moved from Portugal in 1989 and Tanya from the United States in 1973, the two have been working tirelessly to provide for their family. Their current living situation is cramped, to say the very least, and as the living room was turned into a bedroom some time ago, they are left without a place to gather as a family. With only 1 bathroom and 5 bedrooms, the Costas have struggled to find a place within their budget that would house all 14 of them. Their basement is also unusable due to constant repairs, and without proper insulation, the Costas are forced to pay high rates for their gas bills.

Purchasing a Habitat home will give the Costa children the opportunity to have a place they can call home. Once they receive the keys to their new home, together the Costas will make dinner and gather at their kitchen table, allowing all 14 of them to eat together for the first time. The Costas know in their hearts that they will forever reflect on the opportunity they have been given, a “gift” as they call it, and will continue to fill their home with the love and dreams that helped build their new home.

Text Compiled in Collaboration with Habitat for Humanity Toronto.

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