Rental Assistance to Homeownership

New homeowner's living room

For two years Lori McNellis had been a HUD Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Rental Assistance Recipient. On November 23, 2010 Lori became a HUD Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Option Recipient. On that date Lori went from a HUD assisted renter to a HUD assisted homeowner. What that means to those of us not familiar with this particular program is that instead of helping Lori pay her rent every month the Section 8 Program helps Lori make her mortgage payment. So now, in addition to the benefit of a safe and decent place to live, the financial benefit of the Section 8 Payment goes to the Section 8 Client instead of going to a landlord.

Lori was officially deemed disabled in 2006. At that time she became eligible for disability benefits. Lori was grateful to get these benefits but she knew the reality of her situation. For individuals on disability income the ability to find adequate rental housing would be challenging. Lori applied for the Section 8 Program and struggled to find housing in the interim. Two years later Lori felt lucky to get the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher and was quite happy in the apartment she was able to qualify for with her newly gotten rental assistance. About a year ago Lori was told that it might be possible to use her Section 8 to become a homeowner. Because of her limited income due to her disability and the extremely high real estate prices in Bozeman, Montana homeownership seemed unlikely. Lori had never been a homeowner and honestly never thought she could achieve homeownership.

New homeowner's kitchen

But despite the obstacles Lori pursued this information with enthusiasm. She talked to her Section 8 Housing Advocate. She attended a HUD Certified Homebuyer Education Class. She met with the Bozeman HRDC IX Housing Counseling Staff. She talked to Rural Development. She talked to her Payee. She asked all the right people all the right questions. Because of her dedication to make her life better and because of all of us who are dedicated to helping people make their life better, Lori found a way to achieve homeownership. And that way was the HUD Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Option Program.

Lori wants everyone to know that, "These Programs do work and they are worth the time to wait for them to work." And a second quote from Lori for anyone who doubts the impact we can make when we work together to help others, "I don't know where I would be without this program."


Content Archived: October 11, 2013