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It took about a year, a whole lot of paperwork, and countless runs to the bank, but as of October 30, Patricia Wise is a proud homeowner.

“It was crazy,” said Wise. “I went through a lot. A lot!”

Wise is one of the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s most recent graduates from the Homeowner Assistance Program, which guides customers with vouchers through the steps of becoming a first-time home buyer. One of Wise’s friends graduated from the program and encouraged her to sign up after consulting with her housing specialist. First she enrolled in DCHA’s Family Self Sufficiency program.

“Through them, everything kicked off,” she said. “I had to go through a few classes with them.”

Then she moved into HOAP and began working with DCHA community partner, Lydia’s House, to clean up her credit so she could qualify for a home loan.

“In homeownership training I was learning what escrow was and the language you use when buying a home,” she said.

Wise worked for about a year to make sure she was set up for a successful purchase.

“I had everything they were looking for, a job, good credit…they checked to see if my bills and rent were paid on time,” said Wise, who has been a special police officer at the Verizon Center for the past 16 years.

“For me, the difficult part was constantly running to the bank and giving my background over and over and over,” she said. “They are constantly checking your record and making sure you are paying your bills on time. I think I dealt with five or six different organizations.”

And those organizations, Lydia’s House, FSS, Urban League, and her bank to name a few, all require paperwork.

“Sometimes I felt like I was going in circles,” said Wise, who said it took a toll on her. She almost dropped out of the program a couple of times, but her realtor and homeownership coordinator helped keep her confident and on track.

DCHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Program Homeownership Coordinator Trinita Tyler said she would remind Wise which paperwork was needed and when. She advised her on keeping a file updated so that the next time any group needed the next round of paperwork it was close at hand. Tyler and Wise’s realtor helped to explain the process.

Now Wise owns a semi-detached, three-level house in Northeast.

“It took a lot of patience. I wasn’t finding anything I liked,” she said. “I prayed and found everything I wanted – yard size, bedrooms…I love my property.”

She continued, “My favorite room is my living room. I painted the whole house and redid my wood floors. I was saving money along the way so I could buy new furniture.”

Now she and her daughter, who is attending college, have their own home.

When asked how Wise felt, she said, “Free. It feels good. I own something. The freedom of having my own home. The freedom of possibly being able to leave [my son and daughter] something when my time comes.”

She said she also hopes she is serving as a role model to her daughter, who is currently in college.

“I’m showing her you can have better. You work for what you want,” she said. 

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Homeowner Patricia Wise (left) and Homeownership Coordinator Trinita Tyler
Last modified: 2/9/2016 10:58:30 AM