HUD workshop in Canton shared best practices in helping customers
The HUD Mississippi team and trainers from the Mississippi Regional Housing Authority and from Training and Development Associates, exchange knowledge with representatives from other housing authorities and state agencies on how to help tenants become homeowners
Moving from subsidized rental housing into homeownership is a difficult task, but the Mississippi Regional Housing Authority decided to embrace this lofty goal and with comprehensive guidance has been able to convert 49 renters into homeowners since 2004.
Some families just needed a little bit of help and became ready with disciplined savings and financial literacy assistance. Others take more time and combined effort, but it can get done, as was the case for a disabled tenant who decided to enroll in the family self-sufficiency program with the aim of buying a home.
The client was pre-qualified for a $50,000 home loan. The home that she wanted to purchase was $112,000, negotiated down to $98,000 by the client's housing counseling agency. After receiving down payment assistance and grants from others in the amount of $68,000, the client was able to purchase the home for $25,879.
The downpayment assistance required several parts moving together and came from HOME funds from the City of Gulfport - $50,000; Federal Home Loan Bank Award from the University of Southern MS - Institute for Disability Studies - $10,500; Matching Savings Work Program through Mercy Housing and Human Development - $4,000; Down Payment Assistance from Habitat - $3,500; Earnest Money Paid by Client - $500. Total contributions+ Earnest Money: $68,500. Actual cost of home and loan to client: $25,879.
The housing authority keeps an ongoing relationship with the homeowners and Lennie D. Latham, Family Self Sufficiency Program homeownership coordinator, proudly prompts "all of our homeowners are very satisfied with the program." Latham recently shared her knowledge at a HUD sponsored HOME and Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership workshop at the Workforce Investment Network Center in Canton.
Details on how the Family Self Sufficiency Program can prepare Housing Choice Voucher Program clients to become homeowners were closely followed by the workshop attendees, as was the topic on how to layer funds from the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program with funds from the HOME Program to leverage resources for homeownership assistance.
Housing authorities' participation in the homeownership choice voucher program is voluntary and not all housing authorities in MS participate. To find out if the PHA in your area is participating in this program, please contact your local housing authority for additional information.