Housing program helps families find home on a budget

Families in Pinellas Co. have new way to buy home

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - A new partnership between the Pinellas Co. Housing Authority and Habitat for Humanity is helping families prepare to become first time home owners on a budget.

The “Get Ready” program will help families living in affordable housing to have access to services such as one-on-one homeownership counseling, first-time homebuyer training and help with credit repair. There are also options to complete sessions to receive first –time homeowner certificates to help with a down payment.

“I think sometimes families don’t realize that there are resources out there that can help them,” said Debra Johnson, Exec. Dir. Of the Pinellas Co. Housing Authority.

Families must meet the income requirement to be a part of the program and with the help of volunteers; they’ll also be a part of building their own home at a site picked by Habitat for Humanity.

The average home in Florida prices at around $200,000, up more than nine percent in the last year, according to Real Estate site Zillow.

“I'm ready to stand on my feet tall and proud and do what I need to do to in order to own a home,” said Kelly Ann Ruger, who lives with her four children in a Pinellas Co. housing complex.

She’s signed up for the program and is excited for the opportunity to finally own her own home.

“What I look forward to is just being able to sit down at night and know that  the money I’m paying every month is paying for something that I own,” she said.

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