Making Homebuying in San Diego County
a Possible Dream

The Brewer family smiling proudly in front of their new home.
Tina and Shawn Brewer of Chula Vista had always dreamed of buying a home in San Diego County. Shawn, an operations supervisor with the local bus system, and Tina worked hard just to make ends meet. Still, finding an affordable home big enough to fit their five children seemed hopelessly beyond reach.

Fortunately, the County of San Diego Housing Authority worked with the Brewers to help them find a home they could buy. With the help of a homebuyer education class sponsored by Consumer Credit Counseling Services, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, the Brewers discovered they could buy their own home instead of renting one.

The Brewers were already participating in HUD's Section 8 Voucher Rental Housing Assistance Program, and their portion of the monthly rent was $895 per month. Instead of using the money for rent, they were able to qualify for a loan by tapping into HUD's Section 8 for Homeownership Program and Family Self Sufficiency Program.

The Brewers contributed about $5,000 in savings toward buying a $270,000 home in Spring Valley, and the County of San Diego subsidized the home by contributing $770 per month. Now, instead of paying $895 towards rent, their monthly contribution toward the mortgage is only $730.

The Brewers were able to move out of the three-bedroom home in Chula Vista in the southern part of San Diego County into the four-bedroom, 1,100-square-foot home in Spring Valley, just 14 miles east of downtown San Diego.

Owning a home has been an emotional as well as financial windfall for the Brewers. The couple's 14-year-old daughter, used to share a bedroom with the younger children, but now has a room of her own. The Brewers' four other children, ages 4 through 8, can now share two other bedrooms comfortably. They walk to nearby schools instead of having to be driven to school by their parents. That's been especially helpful for Tina, who works at two jobs, one of them as preschool teacher.

The Brewers feel fortunate that they accomplished what many other families cannot do in San Diego County, an area where home prices are rising faster than any other part of the state. They are thankful to the County of San Diego Housing Authority, which gave them a deferred interest loan for the down payment and closing costs.

The Brewers look forward to repainting their home and making other changes to make it more comfortable. In addition, the family is building equity in the rising value of home prices in the area. And when they head home after their many after-school and work activities, they're happy they have a safe and comfortable place to call home.

Your local housing authority determines the availability of this program. To see if they are making plans to use Housing Choice Vouchers to create homeownership opportunities, contact your Public Housing Authority.

Content Archived: August 17, 2011