Vancouver Family Realizes Dream of Home Ownership, Thanks to AFRC Partnership with Evergreen Habitat for Humanity

Vancouver, WA – A deserving family will soon receive the keys to their own home in Vancouver’s McKibbin Commons neighborhood, thanks to a partnership between Evergreen Habitat for Humanity and the American Forest Resource Council (AFRC), a trade association representing the forest products industry.  AFRC’s members and staff donated building materials and cash, as well as their own time to help build the home for Brangmai and Merry Hpauyam and their three children.

The new Hpauyam residence is one of two homes Evergreen Habitat for Humanity will formally dedicate this Sunday, Oct. 6 at 2 p.m. at 1110 SE 77th Court in Vancouver.

Brangmai and Merry Hpauyam and their first daughter arrived in America from Myanmar through the Refugee Resettlement Program. Brangmai overcame a language barrier to find steady employment to support his family. Yet Hpauyam’s apartment consumed nearly half the family’s income, and their apartment quickly became too small with the arrival of two more daughters.

In addition to providing the family with more space, Hpauyam’s new home will provide the stability and safety of homeownership. “I thought it was impossible to own a home, when my daughters would ask why we don’t have a home, I told them it was not possible.  Now I can tell them it is possible.”  Brangmai said.

AFRC advocates for the management of public timberlands in five Western states.  Its members harvest and manufacture wood products that provide homes for families just like the Hpauyam’s.  AFRC President Travis Joseph said his association and its members are proud to help another deserving family achieve its own American dream of home ownership.

“This is a powerful and exciting partnership that shows how local forest products companies make safe, affordable housing possible,” Joseph said.  “Our vision is simple: let’s get to work restoring the health of our at-risk national forests, convert hazardous fuels and wood into lumber and other sustainable wood products, and utilize carbon-friendly material to help solve environmental and social challenges like climate change and the housing crisis.  We’re part of the solution – and we could not be more honored or thrilled to apply our vision and passion to build a home for the Hpauyam family.”

Lumber for the Hpauyam home was donated by Interfor, Timber Products Company and Freres Lumber Co. This is the third home AFRC and its members have helped build through its partnership with Habitat for Humanity, including homes in Springfield, Ore. and Lacey, Wash. AFRC’s first Habitat build in Springfield is chronicled in the video Build a House. Frame a Future.