Reina P. Cunningham
Thanks to the Bell-Whitley Community Action Agency (CAA) Housing Initiative, a single mom and her two children are about to have a place to call their own.
Their new home is a three bedroom, two bathroom house with a kitchen and laundry area. This will allow all members of the family to have the privacy of their own room.
The Bell-Whitley CAA assists low-income families in qualifying to become homeowners and helps current homeowners with rehabilitation projects. The Housing Initiatives program at Bell-Whitley CAA was developed in response to a community need for safe and affordable housing.
The goal of Bell-Whitley CAA’s Home Buyer program is to help low-income households reach the American Dream of home ownership. Bell-Whitley CAA continually seeks funds to assist in down payments, closing costs and gap financing.
To qualify for the Home Buyer program, participants must meet certain income guidelines, have a fixed income (wages, Social Security, etc.), be willing to make a monthly mortgage payment, attend home ownership counseling sessions to deal with credit issues, budgeting and home maintenance as well as meet other criteria relevant to funding sources.
Bell-Whitley assists participants with all of the credit work and financing. Although the financing package is not put together until the house is complete, Bell-Whitley only approves applicants they know will meet the requirements to be approved for financing.
Part of the money used to build the houses comes from grant money. Bell-Whitley works to get participants the best available interest rate for the part of the home to be financed. The mortgage payment participants have to pay is often less than what they were paying in rent.
If participants own property, the home can be built on it. If the participant does not own property, Bell-Whitley will provide the individual with location options.
All of the CAA Home Buyer houses are handicap accessible with every room being wheelchair accessible. Additionally, the walls are 6 inches thick and insulated.
For more information, contact Norman Cornelius, Housing Coordinator at the Bell-Whitley CAA.
Reina Parker Cunningham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 606-248-1010, ext. 205.