SAN FRANCISCO - Along Amber Drive in the Diamond Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, eight new homeowners picked up their keys; keys to homes donated to them.
"We've driven by since it started. Here's where we're going to live!" said Kristen McLeod. She and her two sons are one group of recipients.
"They are super excited to get a dog," she said. "Move in, have the neighbors with all the other kids and families that are here too."
It's an effort made possible by Habitat for Humanity of Greater San Francisco. Volunteers took a donated house and turned it into eight units.
"Half of the families that are moving into these homes have been in a long-time displacement list," said Maureen Sedonean, CEO of the local Habitat for Humanity.
"Not only are they getting affordable housing, but they're getting affordable home ownership," she said.
More than 500 families applied for the homes. The lucky eight were picked from a lottery.
"To be able to move in, get the keys, and call San Francisco home, will be a really big highlight in my journey of life," said McLeod.
Help to create these affordable homes came from the San Francisco Office of Housing and Community Development.
"Everyone says the city builds housing, the city does not build housing, the city invests in housing being built," said Eric Shaw, director of the OHCD.
"The city invests in bringing together partners. The city invests in people who want to come to housing with financial literacy and counseling," he said.
Organizers here say their goal is to improve affordable housing in San Francisco. For now, they're happy to deliver keys before the holidays.
"We're really trying to get everyone in for the holiday season," said Sedonean. "To launch their new year in a way to look forward to their bright futures and build these futures with their families."