Ms. Sylvia has been asking me to go see her new house since they first found out they were getting it a couple of weeks ago. Things kept coming up and I had never gotten around to it...even when she invited me over for dinner on Christmas day.
Now that I'm done traveling for the holidays, I asked if I could swing by. She eagerly said, "Of course!" and promptly invited the rest of our staff so we could eat, play cards and just hang out--such a gracious and welcoming host...but that's just Ms. Sylvia.
She had shown me pictures of her house from her camera phone. She has talked and talked about how beautiful it is. Still, nothing prepared me for how wonderful her home is! It's brand new! It's a great size for her family of Sylvia, her husband Bernard, and the two kids. It has an awesome laundry room, a two-car garage, big rooms, bathrooms, and closets, and an amazing front and back yard. If I weren't so happy for them, I'd be completely envious!
I've had my fair share of frustrations with the Dallas Housing Authority (DHA) and their upkeep (or lack thereof) in Turner Courts. But I must say, if this is what all of their Family Self Sufficiency homeownership program participants receive (and I believe it is), I am very impressed.
On their website, DHA explains their FSS and Homeownership program like this:
Family Self-Sufficiency: The Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program assists DHA clients in developing personal objectives, enabling them to become economically independent. Case managers work with clients to develop long-term goals such as pursuing higher education, job skills training and homeownership. More than 30 FSS families purchased homes in 2004, and nearly 50 in 2005.Sylvia and Bernard are taking every opportunity to be wise and knowledgeable homeowners and I am SO happy for them!!
Homeownership: DHA is moving families to homeownership through its Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Homeownership and Resident Opportunities for Support Services (ROSS) programs. The HCV Homeownership program allows first-time homebuyers to use vouchers towards the purchase of a home. The homeownership division holds ongoing seminars with clients, vendors, realtors, investors and property owners. Topics range from qualifying for a loan to financing and credit repair to fair housing practices.
I loved everything about their new home. But although their home is wonderful on the outside, Sylvia and Bernard make it even more beautiful because of who they are and what they bring to the inside.