After decades of renting, Anita Hedrick never thought she would have the chance to own a home.
She simply didn’t think she could afford it. But that changed when she found out about a program between the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership®(INHP) and IUPUI, where Hedrick works.
Under the IUPUI Anchor Housing program, qualified employees can get financial assistance to buy a home on the Near West side, within a target geography the campus selected. Employees who already own a home within the targeted area can get financial help to fix it up.
Funding for the program is first-come, first-served. Potential program participants qualify based on income and other eligibility restrictions; and potential homebuyers must participate in pre-purchase homeownership advising and a homebuyer education class, offered by INHP.
So far, the IUPUI Anchor Housing program has helped five staff members buy a home or repair their home. The goal is to provide even more employees with an opportunity to become or remain a homeowner close to where they work while funding is still available, said Trevor Meeks, vice president of single family lending for INHP.
As the program moves into its second year, INHP and IUPUI have found a way to provide employees with additional opportunities to find affordable home purchase options, such as expanding the target geography, and offering incentives to help employees own their home faster with a fixed-rate, 20-year mortgage loan option through INHP, Meeks said.
For Hedrick, the down payment assistance she received from IUPUI and INHP helped her to buy her very first home in Haughville, just minutes away from campus where she has worked for 11 years.
“It is my own. I just love it,” Hedrick said.
Hedrick just celebrated her one-year anniversary in her home, and said being there still feels like a dream come true.
“It’s so nice to be able to say ‘my home.’ I did not think I would be able to do that,” Hedrick said.
The Anchor Housing program, part of the Indy Chamber’s Anchor Revitalization Initiative, seeks to help employees live closer to where they work, support Marion County neighborhoods, and allow the 14 local employers currently participating in the program to use it as a recruitment and retention tool, Meeks said.
Hedrick said she learned about the program when her supervisor, Terisa Branson, told her about it. Branson, who signed up for the program the first day, recommended a house for Hedrick.
For Branson, the biggest challenge she faced was finding a home located within IUPUI’s selected geography. After months of looking, she found a home just down the street from where she had been renting. And while the house was a bit too small for her, its previous owner agreed to add a bathroom and additional room on the back of the house.
“Those other houses just weren’t meant for me,” she said.
The program was a blessing, Branson said. Not only did she get help for a down payment, but she also learned a lot about the finances of buying a house during the program’s required homebuying class, and how home closings work.
“I could not afford to do it without doing it this way,” she said.
And now, she has a home of her own, something that is all hers, she said.
“Before, I was living in someone else’s home, taking care of someone else’s home, and this is mine,” Branson said.
For more information, to review IUPUI’s selected geography and to register for the Anchor Housing program, visit https://www.inhp.org/anchorhousing/iupui.