Beyond Housing Services Too Good to Pass up
“When I read up on all the benefits the 24:1 CLT offered to homeowners, it was just too good to pass up,” said 24:1 Community Land Trust (CLT) homeowner Curfrances Wright. “They do one-on-one counseling to better your credit. They give you information on owning a home and down payment assistance, so you can buy a new home. And, you’re also helping build within the community—your community.”
Wright is delighted with the 24:1 CLT home she purchased in July 2014 and is eager to share about the benefits of 24:1 CLT homeownership with friends and family in her community. Additionally, she and her family enjoy the many services brought to the community through the 24:1 CLT and Beyond Housing.
“I’m referring family and friends to buying a CLT home said Wright, “and I’m encouraging them to shop at the stores and bank at the bank. And, I love to take my nieces and nephews to the [24:1] cinema.”
While she expressed that the process of purchasing a home required training, time, commitment, and lots of organized paperwork, Wright felt the benefits made it all worthwhile. She also felt the courses required were essential to better understanding her finances and the responsibilities of homeownership.
“We went through the process two or three months before I actually even owned the home,” said Wright of the financial training and homeownership courses offered by Beyond Housing and the 24:1 CLT. “You have to go through so much to make sure you were fit to be a homeowner—they teach you so much. The banks don’t tell you what you need to work on. They don’t tell you how to better your credit. They just say, ‘Your credit score isn’t up to par yet, so maybe in six months or a year come back.’
Wright added that her home purchase is also an investment in her future as well as her daughter’s—one that means more than she ever imagined it would.
“This is not a house,” said Wright, “it’s a home to me. It’s something that I love coming home to. I love having family gatherings here. I love coming here. I love having pictures of family here. I love it.”
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Northwoods Resident Takes Pride in 24:1 CLT Homeownership
As a social worker, Debra Nicholson knows the importance of stable home and community life, and she is elated with the new life she has found in Northwoods.
While helping her clients connect with community resources available through Beyond Housing, Nicholson learned of the 24:1 Community Land Trust (24:1 CLT) and was able to realize her dream of owning a newly renovated home, furnished with all-new appliances.
“I love my home,” said Nicholson of her Northwoods residence, where she’s been living for the past two years. “Everything is new. I would not have been able to afford a home with new appliances if I didn’t go through the CLT.”
According to Nicholson, you can see the difference Beyond Housing and the 24:1 CLT is making in her neighborhood just by glancing around at the rooftops. “You can tell the CLT homes because they have new roofs,” said Nicholson of her neighborhood. “It gives you pride in ownership when you know that things are going to be taken care of. CLT is helping by making it affordable.”
Like other 24:1 CLT homeowners, Nicholson attended Beyond Housing’s financial management courses prior to purchasing her home and was able to save for a down payment through a savings matching plan through the United Way.
Nicholson added that with Beyond Housing’s presence in the community and the addition of new businesses like the 24:1 Cinema, the value of homes in her area has improved, and the community has a lot more to offer its residents. “It’s just peaceful,” said Nicholson of the Northwoods community she has come to cherish.
24:1 CLT Homeowner Finds Second Chances Are Possible
It’s not often life hands you a second chance, but that’s just what happened for Raeco Carwell when she encountered Beyond Housing.
“I had a foreclosure. I was fresh out of bankruptcy, and they [Beyond Housing] gave me a second chance to be a homeowner again,” said Carwell. “I recommend it to anyone that’s willing to buy a home.”
After struggling financially during the recession, Carwell learned of Beyond Housing’s presence in the community and began investigating their financial management and homeownership programs online. Through Beyond Housing’s 24:1 Community Land Trust (24:1 CLT) initiative, she was able to straighten out her finances and make a down payment on a newly renovated 24:1 CLT home. Carwell now works as a store manager at Circle K and has resided in her 24:1 CLT Northwoods home since May 2013.
“I believe they’re doing a good job,” said Carwell, adding that the drop in the housing market caused a lot of foreclosures, leaving many vacant homes in the neighborhood. With the 24:1 CLT initiative, that’s all changing.”
“By them bringing this program to our neighborhood, there’s a lot of homes that were vacant that now have owners again,” said Carwell. “It keeps our property value up.”
“If we ever decide to move out of the community, we have a for sure buyer [24:1 CLT],” added Carwell, “and we will be blessing another family in need.”
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