Five years ago, Yvette was discouraged. She had a job in Boston, but was commuting from Rhode Island because it was impossible to find an apartment she could afford.
Then, amazingly, Yvette and her daughter were selected in a lottery to live at JPNDC’s 75 Amory Avenue Apartments–out of more than 3,000 households who applied for 39 units.
But this is much more than a story about affordable housing.
“I have my apartment,” Yvette thought. “I also have a decent job. What’s next?”
Yvette had long wanted to own her own home. With JPNDC as a partner, she renewed that dream.
She signed up for JPNDC’s unique rent reporting program, in which tenants can build credit by having their rent payments automatically reported to credit bureaus, just like mortgage payments.
Yvette didn’t know her credit score at the time, but assumed it was low because of her student debt. Whatever it was, she knew she needed to improve it in order to become a homeowner. She signed up for free financial coaching, meeting regularly with her JPNDC coach. She refinanced her student loan and set up a household budget.
“It’s hard to describe what a difference this made,” Yvette said. “In just a few months, I couldn’t believe it – my credit score had gone up 70 points!”
JPNDC referred her to Urban Edge’s first-time homebuyer program. After two years of making regular deposits into a savings account, she has now saved 5% for a down payment.
Meanwhile, JPNDC kept advancing its most ambitious housing pipeline ever, including eight affordable condominiums for first-time buyers on Call Street and Carolina Ave. They fill lots that were left vacant when homes were destroyed more than 50 years ago for a highway that, because of massive grassroots opposition, was never built. Today, the sales prices of neary homes can top $1 million.
Yvette, together with 120 other applicants, put her name in the randomized lottery. And in October, when we celebrated the project’s completion, she was stunned to receive the call to join other future buyers in cutting the ribbon. Her lottery number was pulled!
“I couldn’t be more excited,” Yvette says. “I know that building my credit and savings has led me to have a home of my own! A place to raise my daughter, invest in my community, and call home.