|Feb 08, 2011 --
MAKING A DIFFERENCE PARTNERING TOGETHER
OUTLINE OF NEED: In October 2009, the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Developmental Disabilities, using U.S. Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) Systems Transformation funds, launched a very small Home Ownership Initiative for people interested in exploring the possibility of purchasing a home. Small housing contracts were negotiated in six areas of the state with local organizations having knowledge about the local housing scene, and experience in services to people with disabilities and very low incomes.
The service provided in this initiative is best described as “housing support broker” and contractors are paid a small fixed rate, regardless of how long it takes for someone to close on a home purchase. Despite repeated attempts, the division was not successful in finding an interested and qualified provider in the Kirksville Region. Not to be discouraged, staff in the Kirksville Regional Office decided to simply take up the challenge and participate in the initiative without the assistance of a paid contractor.
Shirley, a young woman receiving division services, decided she was ready to move forward by purchasing a home. With the assistance from her community support worker, Shirley spent some time working on improving her credit rating and getting her finances in order. She then began the application process with USDA Rural Development and was determined eligible.
HOW RURAL DEVELOPMENT HELPED: Shirley then started looking for a house in the $65,000 to $70,000 price range as she wanted to keep her house payment comparable to that of her current rent payments. Her realtor kept his eye open for a house in that price range and helped her find the home of her dreams. With the Rural Development loan Shirley was able to purchase the house at affordable rates and terms without a down payment.
THE RESULT: Thanks to the determination of the staff in the Kirksville Area Office, Shirley’s support system, Rural Development staff and others in the Kirksville community, Shirley has realized the dream of many Americans—to be a homeowner. Everyone involved played a vital role in assisting Shirley in the process—what a wonderful experience— and that’s what life is all about!