Arkansas's Affordable Housing Efforts work to improve the lives of children, families, the elderly and homeless. We are challenged daily to leverage investments, maximize job-producing activity, and serve the state. For over 24-years the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA) has worked to create new homes and apartments in order to make important contributions within our communities that exemplify attractive design and energy-efficient construction. It his with good financial planning and partnerships that ADFA has created affordable housing that is sustainable, attractive and safe for our low-to-moderate residents living Arkansas.
The following are personal success stories from affordable housing programs implemented by ADFA. These are real people who have benefited from affordable housing assistance and this is how it has made a positive difference in the lives of eligible beneficiaries.
Sheila Sabin, a single mother of 3 girls, came into our office because her home was in dire need of repairs. Her home was so dangerous that it was actually deadly for them to be living there and they did not even know it. Then Director of Weatherization, Mark Whitmer, originally went out to the home and found that the hot water heater was producing flame roll out, a fire hazard, and the house was filled with carbon monoxide at deadly levels. These two items were immediately taken care of. Sheila then went to the Homeownership Center and got on the waiting list for a complete rehabilitation of her home. Her story was heart-wrenching. Her 8 year old daughter had written a letter to Extreme Home Makeover. Within this letter she states, "Me and my sisters wouldn’t even dare to invite one of our friends over in this house. This house is tore, stained, and broken down. ..We watch your show all the time and think of the houses they tear down. We even dream of just having those!"
C-SCDC made over $36,000 in improvements to their home leveraging ADFA HOME funds and Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas funds in partnership with Bank of the Ozarks. All funds used are completely forgivable, leaving the Sabin family with no additional burden of monthly debt.
In October, their home was complete and when Ms. Sabin came in to thank us, she said, "The girls are planning their first sleepover. They are so excited." A sleepover, what a small thing, but something every girl deserves to have.
|Carla Allen was a participant in the Central Arkansas Development Council Family Development Program. Through the case management service, Carla connected to a number of resources to make herself self-sufficient. Carla is a single mom with two children, Taylor, age 5 and Blaine, age 10. Both were educated through the Head Start program. Carla says the program made a difference in her son starting school ready to learn. "It was a great experience," she says of her son Blaine. "He already knew so much when we enrolled him in kindergarten. The Head Start program really made a difference." Through CADC's Family Development program and her work with Michelle Hood, who is credentialed in family development, Carla says she was able to save the money she needed to buy her first home. "I learned to change my habits and was able to open a checking and a savings account." Carla learned her savings habits through the free financial literacy classes and through the Individual Development Account (IDA) programs. In less than a year, Carla was connected to CADC's free tax preparation program, after having for years utilized the rapid refund services. "I was paying alot of money on that. When I stopped, I saved a lot too." With her saved money in hand, Carla was able to make a down payment on her first home, which she brought through the Habitat For Humanity of Saline County program. The experience of buying her first home, learning to save and manage her money more wisely has paid off for Carla Allen.|
|Jeannette Covington was a participant in the CADC Individual Development Account (IDA) program. For every dollar she saved, the CADC IDA program matched her savings 3 to 1. Through it, Jeannette earned $2,000, which she used on a home improvement project. "The IDA program helped me build a sidewalk and create a flower bed in our home." Jeanette says the experience of learning to save and budget wisely paid off for her and her 5 year old son Kennedy. "The IDA program motivates you to do better. I can see the impact of the program because it teaches you to make an investment in a better life."|
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