HUD Programs Help Put Michigan Family in New Home

[Photo: The new homeowners, Rochelle and Erin Bertollini are standing on the porch of their new home with Jeanette Harris of HUD and Warren Mayor Mark Steenbergh.]
On the front porch of their new home in Warren Michigan, Rochelle and Erin Bertollini, with daughters Zoe, and Zharece, celebrate with (left to right) Jeanette Harris, Director of Community Planning and Development in the Detroit HUD office and Warren Mayor, Mark A. Steenbergh.

Erin and Rochelle Bertollini, newly married with two daughters, Zharece, age 5, and Zoe, age 1 are living in a new home today thanks to their own hard work, and the City of Warren's smart use of HUD programs. The Bertollini's were looking for a home a year earlier, but decided they weren't financially ready to buy and continued renting. About a year ago, in February of 2003, they read a notice in the local newspaper that the City of Warren had five newly construction houses for sale to first time homebuyers with moderate incomes. They decided to attend the open houses They walked through all five houses that day and "knew that they wanted to own one of them," as Rochelle recalls.

After the open house, Erin and Rochelle completed homeownership classes offered by Michigan State University Extension; a HUD approved housing counseling agency.

Using HUD HOME funds, the City of Warren provided $5,000 down payment assistance, in the form of a deferred five-year forgivable loan, which, with the $1,000 put in by the Bertollinis, made it possible for them to get a conventional mortgage and purchase their brand new home in a "nice neighborhood". The city loan will be forgiven on the fifth anniversary of the closing date, provided the family owns and occupies the property for the entire five years.

In addition to the HOME funds, the city used HUD Community Development Block Grant dollars to demolish substandard housing previously on the site.

Content Archived: July 29, 2011