“If I can do it anyone can:” program helps those with financial barriers own a home

Published: Nov. 13, 2019 at 8:30 PM CST
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A program making it possible for families with financial barriers become homeowners is taking its success to Beloit.

started in Milwaukee, but established a branch office to reach more people.

Since its start in 1995, Acts Housing has helped more than 2,500 people in the Milwaukee area become homeowners.

Christina Patterson is one of the three people who have already closed on a home in Beloit. She said she bought her fixer-upper earlier in the fall and moved in at the beginning of Nov.

“We have been here every day since we closed on the house, doing something, even if it is just painting,” she said.

Patterson said health issues she had several years ago put her family in a tough spot financially.

“Because of my brain surgery, I got to a point where I could not afford to live in the house we were living in, so we became homeless,” she said.

After living in public housing for several years, the Beloit Housing Authority recommended Patterson to Acts Housing.

According to Acts’ Housing family experience manager, Maria Santos, the organization gives counseling to those struggling financially so they can take the right steps to owning a home.

“We cover a credit report analysis, we go through a whole financial assessment, meaning we will take a look at what income is coming in and what debt is going out,” she said.

Santos said about 50 people have signed up for the Beloit program since the branch opened in Sept. She said the only fee for the program is for the credit score portion. It is $24 for someone single and $48 for a joint one.

Patterson said the process has taken time, but the results make it worth it.

“If I can do it anyone can do it,” Patterson said.