Terri's Story

In 1995 I was married, had a beautiful daughter, and owned my home. Then my life fell apart. I became ill - diagnosed with a debilitating disease. My husband left me, and all the bills. Unable to work, I lost my home.

I eventually began receiving Social Security Benefits. I rented an old trailer house. I couldn't afford propane, so I used a woodstove for heating and cooking. My daughter, 15, had a baby.

I became very ill again - a ruptured appendix and cardiac arrest during surgery. It took many months to recover. Behind on rent, I was evicted. My daughter married her baby's father, and moved to Nampa. I moved into another, older, cheaper trailer. I lived there three years, without phone, car, or reason to live. I became severely depressed.

[Photo 1: Terri�s new home]

My daughter asked me to live with them. There wasn't much room in their small house, with two children and another on the way. I slept on a mattress on the floor in their unfinished basement. I helped out, but felt as if I was intruding. I saved enough money to buy an old camp trailer and parked it in their yard.

While at the Salvation Army to get food, I saw applications from Southwest Idaho Cooperative Housing Authority (SICHA) for HUD's Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program.

In February 2006 I was issued a Voucher and rented a real home! In June 2006 I learned about the HCV Homeownership Option which would allow me to purchase a home. A Homeownership Coordinator at SICHA helped me obtain a free copy of my credit report and begin to repair my credit. I saved money and paid some collection debt. I eventually applied for and was approved for a mortgage loan of $89,000. I was also approved for a $20,000 grant for disabled persons through Opening Doors, Inc., and $10,000 through the City of Nampa using HUD's Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

[Photo 2: Terri playing catch with grandkids.]

My REALTOR found a great 3-bedroom, 2-bath home built in 1997 for just $116,000. The home passed the Housing Quality Standards Inspection and a Professional Home Inspection. On December 21, 2007, I signed all the paperwork and moved into my new home! I planted a garden in the back yard and have room to play catch with my grandchildren.

I want to share my story so others who find themselves in a desperate situation will be inspired to take a leap of faith.

I thank God for giving me back my life and for putting me in contact with all the wonderful people at SICHA, Idaho Independent Bank, Keller Williams Realty Boise, Opening Doors, Inc., and the City of Nampa. And of course my thanks to HUD for the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Option!

Content Archived: August 15, 2011