Never Say Impossible - A HUD Home Success Story

[Photo: Ms. Jones' home]
Ms. Jones' home

She had worked and saved and wanted to buy a good home for herself and her two sons. She wanted to live in the neighborhood where she grew up, had family, knew the merchants, but she didn't want to take on a fixer-upper. She wanted a well-built new house on an old street. She wanted a yard where the boys could shoot baskets and she could see who else was in the game with them. She wanted a place to have the whole family over for cook outs. She wanted each of the boys to have his own room.

People told her what she wanted was impossible in her old neighborhood, and if it did exist it would be impossible to afford.

But impossible is not a word in Ms. Jones large vocabulary.

Thanks to her determination and River City Housing's construction, as well as gap financing from the Louisville Metro HOME Program, Ms. Jones has everything that was on her list. Down payment assistance from HOME funds also made it affordable. It was the first assistance she ever accepted.

When her sister, who rents across the street, was hospitalized after a car accident, Ms. Jones was able to help her young nieces manage their apartment because she was right there. "A lot of people on this street lean toward me," she says, not bragging but stating a fact. They know they can count on her.

She organized the block watch which is credited with running off a drug dealer on the next street. She makes it clear that it's participation from the neighbors that keeps the neighborhood safe. "People on this street keep an eye out. We take care of ours. We're not going to have trouble. Word gets around." And as it gets around, it not only keeps troublemakers away, it lets the police know where they have allies. "People ask me if I'm not worried about retaliation [from criminals.] I tell them you can't live your life being afraid."

When Ms. Jones got a home, the neighborhood got an anchor. They got someone who could bring them together.

She has been in her home several years now. She has learned homeowner basics: who's a good electrician, how to get help to get the gutters cleaned, how to find a plumber in a hurry, how to read an insurance policy. For all she has learned, she also has taught. She demonstrates what happens when you catch that bus every morning for work and come home every night. She is also an example of how the 'impossible' is possible.


Content Archived: February 18, 2014