HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A dream came to fruition for a disabled veteran and his family in Hartford on Thursday.

The Carmona family was given the keys to their newly-renovated home on Capitol Avenue, across from the State’s Legislative Office Building and Armory.

This historic home sat dilapidated and vacant for more than 20 years.

“It was a home that was very blighted, almost condemned,” said State Senator Martha Marx (D), who drives by this property frequently on her way to work.

It was owned by neighboring Emanuel Lutheran Church, with plans of creating a welcoming entrance to their ministry. However, the historic nature of the home prevented demolition and laid the groundwork for other plans. The church and historic preservationists eventually partnered with Habitat for Humanity.

Renovation work began in the summer of 2022 but the work faced several setbacks. Last January police said thieves stole thousands of dollars worth of tools and a boiler out of the basement but that didn’t stop volunteers from persevering and finishing the job.  

Edmundo Carmona and his family were given the keys to their new home. Edmundo is a disabled veteran who served two and a half years in the Marines and says this is a fresh start.

“I am very grateful for the program for giving us this opportunity in becoming homeowners. I cannot wait to start this new journey,” he said.

An official from Habitat for Humanity North Central Connecticut told News 8 finding the right homeowners key.

“They are a hard-working family. There will be multiple generations living in this home. His mother, his older daughter, his wife and younger son,” said Karraine Moody, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity, North Central Connecticut.

Habitat for Humanity mortgages have 0% interest which makes spacious homes affordable for families.

“We call it a hand-up and not a handout,” Moody said.

Hundreds of volunteers helped make this renovation possible. The Carmona family plans to move in over the summer.