For years Amber dreamed of living in a home of her own. With the guidance of OHFA’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) coordinators, Amber closed on the perfect home just before the New Year.
Amber’s journey has been a “long, rough road.” For the past 21 years, OHFA has paid a portion of her rent through the Housing Choice Voucher Program. The turning point came in the middle of 2019 when OHFA offered her the opportunity to enroll in its FSS program.
Generally the FSS commitment is for 5 years. Amber entered the FSS program after already focusing on becoming financially independent.
“For the last few years I’ve been working on my credit. I was caught up on bills, everything was going for me.”
Through FSS, participants work to set and achieve goals that lead to financial independence. Amber set a goal of purchasing and moving into a home prior to the end of the year. A single mom, she wants to set an example so that her children know that they also can save to buy homes of their own.
“I want them to know they can actually buy their own house. They can have their dreams.”
With the guidance of FSS coordinator Emmy Doran, Amber enrolled in the Matched Savings Program at the Community Action Agency (CAA) of Oklahoma City. For every dollar she deposited into the account, CAA matched it with $2. Additionally, she received down payment and closing cost assistance from CAA.
Up to the first 15 years, OHFA will pay a portion of Amber’s mortgage through the Housing Choice Voucher Homeownership Program.
The night before Amber closed on her home, she was so excited she could barely sleep. After signing all of the paperwork, she met her children, parents and extended family at the house where move-in immediately began.
Though she was determined to purchase a home, Amber still calls homeownership “surreal.”
“It’s a dream come true to say ‘I have my own home. This is mine. No one can take this from me.”