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Twelve new homeowners and several potential homeowners recently celebrated their accomplishments as part of national Homeownership Month.

The District of Columbia Housing Authority homeownership team honored 11 new homeowners this year and was joined by one homeowner from a neighboring jurisdiction at the June 21 event.

“We know how much work you put in to achieve your goal of homeownership so we congratulate you,” said Cheryl Robinson, deputy director of the Housing Choice Voucher Program at DCHA.

DCHA’s homeownership programs have staff that supports the agency’s customers throughout the entire home purchasing process. Often this includes partnering with other public and private organizations to provide credit counseling, guidance with local lenders, and real estate agents. The purchaser also is required to take classes, such as first-time buying or financial workshops. DCHA guides customers by helping them set up escrow accounts for down payments, or using a voucher to support a mortgage. Several times, because of their hard work, customers are able to purchase a home without any subsidy. 

DCHA customer Kendra Pearson, who closed on her new home in April 2018, thanked DCHA staff for being so supportive throughout her process.

“I love my home. It is a beautiful home,” said Pearson, who took several tries to make her way through DCHA’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program.

She originally enrolled in 2005, but she suffered a few setbacks. Upon hearing she had lost her job, FSS Manager Ronald Fisher enrolled her back into the program in 2012, she said. She found a new job and worked on her credit.

“From 2005 to now, I traveled a road. There were times where I had doubts,” she said. “I still feel today that feeling I felt at the closing table.”

Violette Mukamuhirwa, a Housing Opportunities Commission in Montgomery County customer, closed on her house in February.

“Being a homeowner sounded like a dream,” she said.

 Mukamuhirwa said she is a Rowandan immigrant who had to learn English as a second language before she enrolled in the commission’s FSS program. She said her representative helped her every step of the way on her path to success. She chose a home that was near her children’s schools and a short commute to her job.

“I’m happy more than I thought is possible,” she said. “I encourage everyone. Don’t give up.”

Prior to the celebration, DCHA held a regional roundtable discussion with representatives from area housing agencies that have homeownership and Family Self-Sufficiency programs to learn best practices and how they could support each other. Participants included the U.S. Housing and Urban Development, DCHA Family Self-Sufficiency, Housing Commission of Anne Arundel County, Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County, Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Association, Annapolis Housing Authority, and Rockville Housing Enterprises.

“The hope is to build upon DCHA’s Homeownership Coordinating Committee and create a regional one to assist more interested home buyers on their paths to owning their own home,” said HCVP Director Ronald McCoy.

DCHA’s Homeownership Coordinating Committee is a group of local government, non-profit organizations, and businesses vested in the community such as the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development, Bank of America, Habitat for Humanity, and Marshall Heights Community Development Organization, and Answer Title – to name a few, to prepare and support these potential and new homeowners before, during, and after they purchase their home.

 

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Some of DCHA's new homeowners.
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Homeowner Kendra Pearson shares her story.
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Homeowner Violette Mukamuhirwa says her home is a dream.
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HCVP Deputy Director Cheryl Robinson congratulates the homeowners for their hard work.
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Homeowners with DCHA's Homeownership team.
Last modified: 6/27/2018 4:18:44 PM