Pictured are mother Norma and daughter Lupita. Not pictured are father Luis and son Brayan.

What happens when a nonprofit and local, state and federal governments come together for a single purpose? A dream becomes a reality. For two new homeowner families, that dream was to build and own their very own home, something that for many years remained out of reach for them.

For two Habitat for Humanity families, Luis and Norma Rodriguez and Edward Washington with his son, Edward Jr., March was the month that they officially became homeowners. Thanks to the generosity of local donors and volunteers as well as down-payment assistance programs like the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), at the end of March these families both purchased their new homes from Habitat at an incredibly affordable price. This type of partnership between Habitat and government-funded (and often locally-administered) programs ensures long-term affordability for low-income homebuyers. Programs through the Federal Government from HUD and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas contributed more than $10,000 to the price of their homes through income-based down payment assistance. For the Rodriguez and Washington families, this help translates into significantly lower mortgage payments every month, freeing their finances enough to provide for their children and grandchildren well into the future.  Whether surviving on a single income with a baby on the way, or on a fixed income pension from Social Security, the increased affordability through down-payment assistance will make all the difference for B/CS Habitat for Humanity’s newest homeowners!

Pictured are staff member Charles Coats (left) and Habitat homeowner Edward Washington Sr (right). Not pictured is Edward Washington Jr.

We would especially like to thank the City of Bryan Office of Community Development for their wise administration of the Community Development Block Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Commerce National Bank for their support administering the HELP grant from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas.  Your untiring dedication to increasing affordable and sustainable housing for working families in our community is inspiring and vital to the work we do at Habitat for Humanity. In Bryan and College Station, there are hardworking, low-income families who cannot afford to buy their own home. But thanks to you, many more families can buy a simple, decent home that they can actually afford. And that is something you can be proud of.

Note: Both the Washington and the Rodriguez families received forms of competitive assistance originating from HUD, the Federal Reserve and the State of Texas through Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs. Thanks to this combination of no-interest bearing loans made possible by donations from the local community, the state of Texas’s Bootstrap Loan Program and these two down-payment assistance grants, the new homeowners have peace of mind that their mortgage payments are and will continue to be affordable until their homes are paid in full.

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