HUD No. 08-035
March 18, 2008
HOUSING AUTHORITY OF NEW ORLEANS CELEBRATES 100TH HOMEOWNER
Family combines HUD first-time homebuyers program, private financing to obtain American Dream
NEW ORLEANS - It will be a while before Rachelle Taylor has to shop for a new broom, dustpan or a variety of other basic household items. That's because the New Orleans' native and new homeowner was presented a basket filled with 100 house-warming gifts today for becoming the Housing Authority of New Orleans' (HANO) 100th homeowner.
"I'm happy to celebrate with Rachelle and her family," said HANO Executive Administrator Karen Cato-Turner. "There's nothing like opening the door to your first home and a whole new world of hope and promise. I'm proud HUD, HANO and our private partners can be part of that special memory."
Taylor, who is hearing impaired and works part time at McDonalds, joins 99 other local families who have become homeowners through two federal programs that helps low-income families become first-time homeowners. Taylor and 73 other HANO families used the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program to purchase their homes. The program allows Section 8 vouchers holders to use their vouchers toward monthly homeownership expenses - mortgage payment and utilities - to help them obtain the American Dream of homeownership.
HANO celebrated its first home closing in 2001, soon after this program began nationally in 2000. This home purchase is the ninth after Hurricane Katrina. Today, nearly 8,000 families nationally have used this program to buy homes. Other families have used the Family Self-Sufficiency Program, another HUD initiative that leads families to homeownership. Together, these programs have turned more than 11,000 life-long renters into homeowners nationwide.
Taylor, who used her voucher to rent housing since 2004, purchased her home last month. She received financing from Fidelity Homestead of New Orleans and soft second mortgages from City of New Orleans and Neighborhood Housing Services, who also provided comprehensive homebuyer counseling. She and her three children now live in the home that was built by the Jericho Road Episcopal Housing Initiative, a faith-based nonprofit organization that was born after Hurricane Katrina to help relocated families return home by providing families high quality, affordable permanent housing opportunities in New Orleans neighborhoods. Jericho Road works with other non-profits, private businesses, governmental agencies and faith-based groups to construct new homes or rehabilitate occupied homes. Taylor is the first HANO family to buy a Jericho Road new home.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.