Why Rent When You Can Own? - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

02/17/05 - Lufkin

Why Rent When You Can Own?

by Ramonica R. Jones

After eight years in public housing, Willie Moye can't believe she's about to become a homeowner.

"It's a wonderful feeling knowing that I'll be able to own my own home and I have something to leave behind for my children one day," Moye said.

In a few weeks, Willie's rent checks will become mortgage checks.  She's the second person to get a home through the Housing Choice Voucher Program, formerly known as Section 8.  The change means the housing vouchers Willie gets from the government can be used to buy, instead of rent.

"Home ownership is something most of these clients may not have even dreamed of doing," said Darwin Wade, home ownership coordinator.  "It makes families more independent and self-sufficient."

Realizing the dream is more than a slogan, it's what the program is all about, and counselors make sure new homeowners know what they're getting into.

"We counsel with them regarding their affordability, their income, purchasing a home," Wade said.  "We require them to attend the home buyer education class and we educate them before they can actually go out and buy a home."

Owning a house is a big deal, but it's the little things that make it a home.  For Willie, that means having her own bathroom and her own space.  Willie's already started house hunting.  She plans to have a new address in a couple months.

Right now, more than 3,000 applicants are on the waiting list to get a Housing Choice Voucher.

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