Teacher Buys First Home Through Housing Fund

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

July 14, 2005

The high cost of housing is forcing teachers, nurses, firefighters and police officers to live outside the city of Charlottesville. Now, the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors is helping these professionals own their own home in the city.

"Hi my name is Brandy Walker and I'm a home owner!" proclaimed Brandy Walker, a Charlottesville math teacher.

Thanks to the help of the Charlottesville Area Association of Realtors' work force housing fund on July 14, she cut the ribbon that leads to her first home. Walker said the best part about it is that her son gets to grow up here just like she did.

"Thank you Mommy for letting me sleep in the house. And [stay] in Charlottesville," said Walker's son Charlie.

"For a five year old to say that--it means the world to both of us that we were able to stay here and we didn't have to go somewhere else to find the housing that we were looking for," explained Walker.

Through the Piedmont Housing Alliance, qualified teachers like Walker, and other firefighters, police, and nurses working in Charlottesville could also live in Charlottesville. This is something many of these lower income jobs usually won't allow.

"Our community has grown so rapidly in the last 3 to 4 years [that] affordable housing has become a very hot button here. This is a program that I think will assist them in facilitating the money that they need to get into homes," said Benton Downer, the CAAR President.

Using donated money, the housing fund provides for a no interest second mortgage so workers can afford a down-payment. The loan will be repaid when the home is sold so that the money can be made available to future new homebuyers.

"Please help make the donations that they need so that it's not just one teacher, it's not just one policeman, it's not just one firefighter, it's everybody," said Walker.

CAAR has already secured a pledge of $1,000 per year from a dozen corporate donors and several realtors who have agreed to give $100 per year for the next 5 years.

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