Louisiana Rural Home Loan PartnershipSouthern Mutual Help Association addresses the deep-rooted causes of poverty and its consequences through a comprehensive approach to affordable home ownership which is central to the American Dream. Neighborhoods thrive when community members own their own homes. Children prosper when they grow up with a sense of security and pride in their family's assets.
Yet, the barriers to homeownership for the nation's working poor are often overwhelming. A single mother with three children, a young couple with a disability, or other individuals with very low incomes may face:
Little or no access to affordable capital · A large down payment, high closing costs, and attorney's fees that outstrip their savings · Poor credit histories that prevent them from qualifying for a mortgage · Little knowledge of how to budget their income and expenses · Relatives and neighbors who discourage them from even trying to own a home · Daunting decisions at every turn · Total unfamiliarity with the process of becoming a homeowner and a fear of asking questions · No experience maintaining a house and protecting their investment · Disbelief that owning a home is something they could ever really do.
Through the Louisiana Rural Home Loan Partnership, SMHA makes it possible for low-wealth families to obtain loans to purchase or build a home and thus build their assets. The success of this program lies in Southern Mutual's unique family and community development initiatives aimed at preparing families to be homeowners and supporting their efforts to build healthy, prosperous communities.
Louisiana Rural Home Loan Partnership:
One Family's Story
SMHA: Turning this ...
... into this! Three generations
of women now own this home!
Three generations of African-American women were living behind a landfill in rural St. Landry Parish. The 89 year old matriarch, her daughter and her granddaughter lived in a building with no indoor plumbing; the roof leaked with every rain, and daylight was visible through holes in the walls and floor. Through the efforts of SMHA, Washington State Bank (an SMHA partner), the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, and USDA Rural Housing Services, on August 2, 2001, this family became the owners of a newly renovated brick three-bedroom, one-bath home right outside the Opelousas city limits.
When the family arrived at their new home, following the loan closing, the 89 year old grandmother, who is nearly blind from cataracts, resisted leaving the car because she was afraid that she had been brought back to her old house. When she realized she was now at her new home, her eyes filled with tears and she walked to the front door without the aid of her walking stick. The granddaughter showed off the new home by posing for SMHA and Washington State Bank staff with one foot in the bathtub -- her first experience in the new home would be a bath using the indoor plumbing.
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