PORTLAND, Ore. -- Four local families each have a place to call home this holiday season after getting the keys to their houses from directors at Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro-East on Saturday morning.

The agency builds and renovates homes across the area each year, in an effort to house working families.

On Saturday, Prosper Hezumurano, his wife Rosata and their seven children benefited from that mission, after acquiring their own home loan and putting in more than 500 hours of “sweat equity” to help with construction.

“They are excited,” said Prosper of his children, via an interpreter.

The family came to the Portland area nine years ago as refugees from Tanzania.

They’ve have been renting an apartment in North Portland. Prosper and Rosata worked in food processing to support the family.

Owning a home had never before seemed like an option.

“This is a new beginning,” said Prosper. “It's a new house. It's a very nice house.”

Directors of Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro-East on Saturday said the demographic they serve is growing drastically.

“Every year we select the families, and we just finished selecting families for the next homes we’ll build in this coming year in 2018,” he said. “Over 600 families came to us for help for 15 homes that we’re building.”

If you would like to donate to or volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro-East, click here.