From Public Housing To Homeownership

[Photo: Natasha Patterson]
Natasha Patterson standing in front of her newly purchased home in Alexandria's west end.

Making the transition from public housing to homeownership can be a long process and a goal that many public housing residents believe is out of reach. By providing extensive education, outreach and support, the City of Alexandria and the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority's (ARHA) partnership has made homeownership possible.

ARHA is a regional leader in participating in the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Homeownership program, an initiative that allows public housing agencies to assist residents with monthly mortgage payments in lieu of rental assistance payments. By combining HUD's HCV Homeownership program with the City's Homeownership Assistance program (HAP), (http://alexandriava.gov/housing/info/default.aspx?id=361#HA) the partnership has resulted in more than 20 HCV recipients, including a previous public housing resident becoming homeowners.

Natasha Patterson, a single mother and former public housing resident with two young daughters and a recent participant in the HCV and HAP programs, successfully purchased a home in Alexandria's west end. Since Ms. Patterson works in the west end, finding a home that was both affordable and near her job were priorities. After participating in ARHA-administered first time homeownership educational classes and through the assistance of the Office of Housing HAP, Ms. Patterson purchased an affordable single family home. Ms. Patterson commented that "buying a home was a dream come true."

This initiative demonstrates the power of support, encouragement and self-sufficiency in helping lower-income residents achieve their goals, even in high cost areas such as the City of Alexandria.

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Content Archived: January 21, 2014