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.