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Homeownership Helps Kristi Find Independence

Christmas was a little different for Kristi this year. She's a new homeowner and hosted Christmas for the first time in her own home. As a new homeowner she got more practical gifts this year, like an electric start, self-propelled lawn mower. Kristi is disabled and thought homeownership was out of her reach. But after attending a meeting and learning about some resources that were available to her, she realized that homeownership was not out of the question.
[Photo: Kristi's new home]
Kristi's New Home

At first, Kristi didn't think a lot about owning a home. She followed a somewhat traditional path as a young adult, got a job, finished school, continued working and eventually moved out of her parents' house and into her own apartment. After a few years of apartment living Kristi decided to set a goal. She wanted to own a home.

Kristi and her parents first learned that homeownership was possible when they attended an informational meeting for persons with disabilities and learned about local homeownership assistance programs from HUD staff. Kristi's sister works for a home builder, and heard about a home sale that fell through at the last minute. She asked Kristi if she would like to look at the house, she thought that Kristi might be able to get a good deal. �Opportunity sometimes comes even if you're not looking for it� said Kristi's mom. Even though she wasn't actively looking for a home, she decided to take a look at the house because it was close to her parent's and sibling's homes. It was just what she wanted.

Kristi's mom called HUD's Sioux Falls Field Office to learn more about homebuying. She was given information about local programs and encouraged to contact a local HUD-approved housing counseling agency for some one-on-one housing counseling. Kristi applied for and received financial assistance through the Home Ownership Assistance Program (HOAP) and the American Dream Down Payment Initiative (ADDI). HOAP is a non-profit organization that provides grants to assist low-and moderate-income individuals and families purchase a home. ADDI funds provide down payment and closing cost assistance. The combination of financial assistance and a 5.25% fixed rate first time-homebuyer loan made the purchase of her home possible.

Another valuable tool used in this process was the recently published booklet by the South Dakota Council on Developmental Disabilities (http://dhs.sd.gov/ddc) Explore the Possibilities of Home Ownership. This booklet is a guide to home ownership for people with limited income in South Dakota.

[Photo:Kristi in her new home]

Kristi's mom credits this accomplishment to a team effort. Her parents helped in finishing the lower level of the home. Her brother planted several trees and helped establish the lawn. Her sister worked diligently with the contractor and lender to make sure things went smoothly. Kristi now owns her own newly constructed home.

Homeownership was possible for Kristi because of the assistance programs and the support from her family. Her family lives close and assists with snow removal and other chores. She is very happy with her new home and stated �I can do whatever I want to do� and �I don't have to be quiet for the folks above or below me.� Homeownership makes this possible.

Content Archived: April 5, 2011

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