Charlicia, or Char, Brown lived in the Metcalfe Park neighborhood with her three boys for 12 years. Char rented her home since 2011, until she realized, through a unique partnership between the City of Milwaukee, WHEDA, Urban league, Gorman Properties and Acts Housing she had the opportunity to buy the home she raised her children in. Char resides in a single-family home built with tax credits funds provided through WHEDA and the City of Milwaukee. Gorman & Company, invested and utilized the tax credits to build and manage the property over the past 15 years. As part of the tax credit award Gorman & Company committed to create permanent affordable purchase opportunities for tenants.
Char had heard owning her home might be a possibility, but she didn’t know how to get started. But when she attended a community meeting everything changed.
“I attended a meeting and heard Dee speak about how we could own our homes and Acts was there to help us through the process. At that meeting I was like ‘Wow, they’re going to help us. I might be able to do this. I had a feeling like this might actually happen’.”
Char enrolled in the Acts homebuyer virtual orientation. She was set up with HUD- certified homebuyer education coach, Tony Bell and got to work. Her biggest challenges were eliminating credit card debt and increasing her credit score. Char and Tony created an action plan that laid out the obstacles, goals, and timeline to keep her on track. In three months, Char paid off her eleven credit cards and increased her credit score by 140 points.
“I felt so accomplished paying off my credit cards. I had to sacrifice a lot of things in that time, but I learned how to stay on top of my bills and create better spending habits. Acts was kind of a lifesaver because without them I don’t think I would have been in a position to consider purchasing a home”.
Char was finally purchase ready and she utilized nontraditional lending through Acts to purchase and rehab her home. On July 31st she closed on her home and has gone from renter to owner! She no longer pays a landlord, she pays herself!
We asked Char what homeownership means to her. She said,
“To me it means a legacy. It means the American dream. Something that people aspire to. And I feel it is an accomplishment being a young mother and literally busting my tail for so many years to just give them a decent home and give them a certain level of comfortability. It makes all the hard work worth it. I feel like if something happens they’ll have something from me. It’s an accomplishment that they can say well at least my mother did own her home.”
Char is the first of her family to own her home. She is also the first of residents of the Metcalfe neighborhood in Milwaukee to purchase her home utilizing this unique opportunity to buy the home she’d been renting for the past 12 years.
Interested in moving from renting to homeownership? Your first step is to view our Virtual Homebuyer Orientation. Start Here.