It took Melvina Cook several years and perseverance, but she is now enjoying her new home with her family.

Cook, a District of Columbia native and mother of two, is one of the District of Columbia Housing Authority’s newest first-time homeowners.

“It was a very, very tedious process. It taught me patience,” said Cook, who said in the days after her moving her family into their Southeast home she was overwhelmed with feelings of blessings mixed with nerves. “Patience, perseverance, and a lot praying—that is what got me to this present day.”

Cook, a 16-year employee with the city government, had a long journey before achieving her goal as a homeowner.

After having spent her formative years in Sursum Corda and also living with her grandparents at Franklin Commons in Northeast, Cook moved as a young adult into apartments at Robinson Place in Southeast. In 2006, Cook received a voucher to relocate from that apartment into another rental community.

As a voucher customer, she learned about the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Assistance Program. She began taking the required classes at Lydia’s House that taught her about credit, owning a home, and more. By 2015, Cook began searching for her new home. However, due to the stress of finding that home and several offers being rejected, Cook was overwhelmed and stopped searching.

“Then my grandson came. I said, ‘I can’t keep paying this much for rent for an apartment. I need something bigger,” said Cook, who started searching for her new home again in 2018.

She knew what obstacles she would face, but remained diligent. With assistance from DCHA’s HCVP and Homeownership program, paired with the D.C. Home Purchase Assistance Program and Employer-Assisted Housing Program, Cook was able to purchase her new home.

“I never cried so much. I never kneeled and prayed so much…this is the house. I walked through it. I prayed over it,” said Cook, who endured through moving closing dates and a change in lenders, which led to a better interest rate and lower mortgage payment.

She said, “For future people who want to become homeowners, I would tell them never give up. Always have patience.  When God closes one door he’s going to open another door with bigger and better and brighter things.”

Cook was selected this summer as a recipient of new furniture from Bob’s Discount Furniture, thanks to a partnership with the Washington Redskins and Urban League of Greater Washington.

“I am glad I was able to get to this level because my daughter and son can see the process I had to go through. So now when they decide they want to step up in faith, I can give them the extra push. I can be their ear. I can be that or direct them to the proper steps and what they are supposed to do,” Cook said. “I did it for my kids and my grandbaby.”

As for where her next steps are focused, Cook says she is going to work on redoing her basement.

Melvina Cook (center) enjoying her new home with family.
Last modified: 9/13/2019 1:11:50 PM