This ongoing series will highlight the individuals and families who have purchased their first home in DC using the Home Purchase Assistance Program, and the great impact it’s had on the people, neighborhoods, and communities of the District.
I have been living in the District my entire life: 25 years. This last year, I worked with the Greater Washington Urban League, utilizing the Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) to purchase my first home in Deanwood, Ward 7. HPAP made homeownership more affordable for me. HPAP is a gap-based program. This means that it is intended only to bridge the gap between what a lender will approve and the cost of the home. Therefore, had I needed to acquire the full amount of debt with a traditional lender, there was a risk of not being approved for a loan or potentially having a significantly higher monthly mortgage.
Being a homeowner gives stability, both physically and financially, to be able to move ahead in life. Building equity in my home allows me to pay off the debt and be able to increase my leverage in the world. Although I live alone, owning a home has been a major step for my family as well. My cousins, siblings, parents, extended family, etc., have been not only been encouraged but also motivated to utilize opportunities for their own lives.
HPAP is an important program because it helps to make homeownership affordable. Without it, DC would instantly become a city in which only the upper middle-class would be able to dwell. Though HPAP helps to make homeownership affordable, taking advantage of other homeownership programs in order to help bridge the gap also helps significantly. Saving for your future is also a must as well!
By Christina White, Ward 7