Partnership Helps Single Mother Achieve Homeownership

Sabrina T. Simpkins who is the Site Director at the Holly City Family Success Center of Millville never wanted to buy a home. She had been renting for several years in Cumberland and Gloucester Counties. It was not until her rental home of 4 years, was vandalized twice in a matter of 6 months that she decided it was time for her and her young son to move. They moved in with her parents in February of 2020, and she began planning her next move. Sabrina decided to pay off all her bills while saving money. A few months later, she received a call from an old friend who worked for the Financial Wellness Institute, which is an organization, that helps people purchase and repair homes. This organization partners with the USDA, Purchase & Repair Program. Her friend was promoting the USDA First Time Home Buyers Purchase and Repair Program. After Sabrina learned of the program, she decided to take the next step into homeownership and complete the application.

The biggest draw to the USDA’s Purchase and Repair Program for Sabrina was the no deposit, no down payment as well as the extended time on the loan repayment. Instead of 15-30 years, she qualified for a 38-year mortgage, and the loan paid for all expenses that would normally come out of pocket during a regular home buying experience. The USDA along with the Financial Wellness Institute was there every step of the way to guide and support Sabrina in her home buying journey.

After searching for a few months, Sabrina found the perfect place in the neighborhood where she grew up. She is now close to family and in a safe environment. She went to settlement in November 2020, in her hometown of Hopewell Township in Cumberland County, which is the location she has always wanted to settle down in and raise her son. After Sabrina completed all requirements including the 125+ hours of sweat equity…she became the first person with Financial Wellness Institute to accomplish homeownership through the USDA Self-Help Purchase and Repair Program. She and her son officially moved into their new place in March of 2021.

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Leona Rouse

"My experience with FWI enforced the value of credit – obtaining, repairing and maintaining it. This experience helped me purchase a home for my son and I. I will take this experience with me into the future, and share it with my son through conversation and example."