Meet Candace and Andrew – New Homeowners!

There are only two ways to handle adversity. A person can either overcome it or they can succumb to it. The Fermin’s know about adversity all too well but decided to overcome their challenge, and that commitment led to their dreams coming true, when they became homeowners.

Candace and Andrew Fermin moved to Charlotte in 2003 from New York. Pregnant at the time with their first child, Candace could not work consistently, and Andrew struggled to find work. One day, the Fermin’s spoke to someone about their situation and found out about the Charlotte Housing Authority housing choice voucher program.

The Fermin’s applied and were put on the waiting list in 2003. They were told it would be years before they could receive a voucher, “they said it would be years, but that didn’t stop us from doing what we needed to do. We had to survive,” said Andrew. Over the years they worked hard to keep their family afloat.

In 2013, the Fermin’s received the news they had waited for. They were official voucher holders. Even though it took 10 years, the Fermin’s were grateful for the opportunity to finally have that financial support to help them get stable and ultimately succeed. Over that 10-year span, their family grew with the addition of two more children.

Even though they had what they wanted, the adversity did not stop. They moved from place to place to find housing adequate for their family’s growing needs.  The Fermin’s wanted a place to call their own, they were tired of renting and wanted to raise their family in a safe area. Both working hard to make ends meet, Andrew’s jobs working for Lyft and Uber, was taking a toll on his car and their income due to car repairs. They tried to qualify for a mortgage, but due to their credit and work history they did not qualify.

In 2014, Candace was hired by Sunbelt Rentals. This was the opportunity the Fermin’s needed to help them further homeowner pursuit.  Candace loved her job and knew it was an organization she a had a bright future in. Understanding that their credit and work history was their challenge, Candace wanted to make sure she was ready for the next opportunity. She started working on her credit as soon as she landed the job.

In 2016, Candace worked with a credit repair agency to help raise her credit even more. It definitely did the trick because in December 2017, the Fermin’s received a letter from CHA’s Destination Homeownership Program Manager, Monica Nathan letting them know they were eligible for CHA’s Homeownership Program. With Candace’s credit being in good standing the homeownership process was easier for them.

The Fermin’s began the homeowner process in February 2018 and were homeowners by June! This was one of the fastest closings CHA has ever had. The Fermin’s came in ready and knew when they got their opportunity again, they would be prepared.

The Fermin’s now have the home of their dreams and Andrew is a new employee of Lowes. They get to see the results of all their hard work every time they step into their home. “Being homeowners is such a wonderful feeling” said Candace.

NBA Players Association Sponsors CHA Kids to Play Sports

So, what’s your favorite sport? Do you want to play basketball, karate, football, tennis or track? Do you need help with paying for your uniform? Are there fees stopping you from becoming the Champion we know you are?

The Soul of a Champion sports scholarship provides youth residing within CHA housing communities and the Housing Choice Voucher Program with an opportunity to play the sport of their dreams.

 

If you have the soul of a champion, the NBA Players Association and CHA want to see you win. Applications are available now. Just go to cha-nc.org forward slash soul of a champion dot com.

We Believe in the Soul of a Champion.

Apply online at www.cha-nc.org/Soul-of-a-Champion

Deadline – May 17th, 2019

So, have you heard tales of guaranteed rent payments, but it just sounds too good to be true? Becoming a Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) Landlord can provide a vital service for our community and meet your personal business goals too. If you are not ready to jump on board because you have heard stories of frustrating inspections and long waits for the first check, we get it and we have done something about it. First a quick lesson on how this works.

Quick Background: How Does Section 8 Work?

A Section 8 voucher is rent subsidy funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Seniors, veterans, the disabled and working families apply to the Charlotte Housing Authority (CHA) for a Section 8 voucher. Once the tenant is approved, the voucher generally covers 70% of the rent while the tenant is responsible for paying the remaining 30%. The tenant then begins looking for housing in the private market. When a home has been identified, rent agreed upon, and the landlord agrees to accept the voucher, the perspective tenant notifies CHA. Once CHA receives a copy of the lease, an inspection of the home will be scheduled and a contract between CHA and the landlord is signed.

Getting Better at Getting it Right

We understand that things may not have always worked as smoothly as we would have liked in the past. At times, that infamous red tape may have been a bit too long and inspections frustrating. We have listened to our partners, you the landlord, and have come up with ways to make working with us easier.

Here are just a few things that we have done:

  • Faster initial inspections – 7 days (decreased from an average of 12 days)
  • Annual inspections – Now every 2 years
  • Re-inspection after a failed inspection – You can now self-certify for non-health and safety issues
  • Decreased contract turnaround time – CHA’s goal is 30 days (HUD requirement is 60 days)
  • Decreased wait time for subsidy payments – We now make payments weekly (down from 2 times per month.)

There are also advantages to having Section 8 tenants:

  • Reliable on-time rent payments from CHA
  • Marketing resources for tenants. We have two great resources are GoSection8.com and CHA’s Resource Room.
  • Occupancies tend to be longer-term which usually means lower vacancy rates. Shorter vacancies can give you more consistent cash flow.
  • Consistent tenant base

We invite you to be our housing partner and join the Section 8 program. To partner with us contact Kia Cauthen at KCauthen@cha-nc.org or call her at 704-336-5844.

CHA Impact is a bi-monthly newsletter designed to keep you updated with the latest news involving the Charlotte Housing Authority and Charlotte’s affordable housing crisis.