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photo:Renate Reed
Renate Reed
(GA-Atlanta Metro Area)
(770) 418-5230
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Atlanta, GA,
22
May
2017

Home Is Where the Heart Is

Atlanta nonprofit helping families become homeowners

Home is where the heart is. In Jaimi Jones’ case, it was also where mold and mildew were. Jaimi, a renter, was worried about the health of her two teenagers but didn’t think she could afford to buy her own house.

Like millions of Americans, Jaimi dreamed of being a homeowner. Fortunately for this Atlanta- area single mom, she found the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP) which is supported by State Farm.

ANDP focus areasJaimi, the ever-protective mother, surveyed the new neighborhood before she purchased the home from ANDP. She spoke with several neighbors to make sure her family would feel safe and happy in their new suburban community. She purchased the home with down payment assistance from ANDP making the payments more affordable.

“I pay less with my mortgage payment than most pay for rent,” Jaimi says. “But I’m most happy about the healthier environment for my children.”

The proud first-time homeowner can finally breathe a mold-free sigh of relief.

Vet gets the assist he needs

Chad O’Brien, a U.S Army vet, was deployed twice to Iraq in his five years of service. Now stateside, he wanted to provide a stable home for his two young daughters. But to afford the payments, he had to take side jobs in addition to his new career in local government. This took him away from his children.

“It was a win-lose situation, and after his service to his country, he deserved a win-win!” shared John O’Callaghan, President & CEO of ANDP.

Chad was able to purchase a home with the help of ANDP’s Veterans Affordable Home Purchase Program. He now has a mortgage payment $300 a month less than his previous rent payment. The savings means no more side jobs and a shorter commute. But even more important, this means more time with his little girls. Chad got his win-win!

Neighborhoods changing dramatically

Tracey Smith looked around her neighborhood and was scared. “My neighbors and I were worried about vandalism and squatting and how that could impact our home values,” says Tracey, a homeowner in a development that was foreclosed on before the community was complete. “Our home values were already falling because of the foreclosure crisis.”

“But then ANDP bought the available homes and helped homebuyers with down payment assistance,” shared Tracey. “It really changed our neighborhood outlook. We’re creating a sense of community, a sense of family and we look out for one another.”

Since 2007, ANDP has shifted all organizational programs to focus on neighborhood and homeowner recovery. 525 single-family homes and apartment units have been saved because of the ANDP foreclosure redevelopment program.

In the case of Douglas County, a suburban area of Atlanta, the impact was significant. ANDP conducted a study on the impact of its acquisition, rehab and repopulation of 53 homes in the county. The study showed an investment of $2.3 million in rehab of 53 homes. This investment resulted in a $14.6 million increase in values for surrounding properties.

Tracey’s neighborhood, in Douglas County, is now completely full. Empty lots have been developed and empty homes have been purchased. She looks around at her neighborhood and is full of pride.

*Homeowner’s last names have been changed to protect their privacy.