When one of our members was awarded full custody for her 4 grandchildren, her rental apartment all of a sudden was a tight squeeze. Diane was living self-sufficiently in a Section 8 rental near Burlington when she found herself solely responsible for her grandchildren. Caring for them, she knew, was going to require a larger, more permanent home. She came to Opportunities for help.
Diane has been a member of Opportunities for two decades. We helped her finance her first car, helped her budget and pay down credit card debt. When Diane needed to buy a house, our staff jumped in to help on this challenge, too. We helped Diane convert her rental Section 8 voucher to a Section 8 mortgage voucher. We helped Diane apply for a grant from Champlain Housing Trust to defray the cost of her downpayment and closing costs. Diane was able to identify a shared-equity home she could buy through CHT.
A typical homebuyer shows up at a closing with a big check, roughly 20% of the cost of the house. It’s usually the biggest check they will ever write. In Diane’s case, she only had to show up to her closing with $1.74!! The grants Opportunities helped her find paid for the rest. Diane was able to buy a four-bedroom house, right near the school in Burlington’s Old North End. The kicker? Her monthly payment would be almost $200 less for the house than she had paid for the apartment!
At Opportunities, that’s what we do. We have been around for 34 years and in that time, we’ve learned how to find programs to help our borrowers. Yes, we make mortgage loans, but we also make connections.