Advancing Communities Through Homeownership

S Rhymes in front of house

A New Homeowner's Story

Shirley R. is a proud mother of six and grandmother of seven. She’s also proud of the fact that she recently purchased her first own home in Eastside Pingree Park, thanks to the Advancing Communities Through Homeownership program.   

Shirley was born in South Carolina but spent most of her life in Detroit. She recently retired after a career working with students with the Detroit Public Schools Board of Education. She and her husband began renting her current home in 2005 and they first learned about the opportunity to own the rental in 2019. Shirley’s husband passed away in 2020 and she continued with the home purchase process because she knew he would have wanted that. “Being able to purchase my home was such a blessing!” she proudly shares.   

The Advancing Communities Through Homeownership program provides residents in Detroit the opportunity to purchase their rental homes by providing homebuyer education, down payment financial assistance, property management education on repairs and maintaining a home and even energy efficient appliances through the DTE’s Energy Assistance Program.   

“Buying this home felt like Christmas in November,” said Shirley. “My mortgage with taxes and insurance is less than what I paid for rent. And the price and closing costs were really reduced with the Down Payment Assistance program.” 

Starting in 2019, Cinnaire and its partner agency began working with Shirley to ensure the process went smoothly. She was happy for ongoing support before, during and after the process. Through the SEEL program, she received a new air conditioner, furnace, hot water heater and refrigerator. The team also followed up to make sure that all the projects and repairs were completed to her satisfaction.   

“Cinnaire and its partner agency weren’t just in it to sell a house,” Shirley said. “They walked me through the whole process which wasn’t difficult. They still call and check in to make sure everything is going ok.”  

The work is now done, and Shirley takes great pride and satisfaction in being a first-time homeowner.  She’s excited about the future and her plans for home improvements including painting and even adding a deck.  With her big family, she really enjoys having a home and large yard for entertaining.  

“I like being in my own home. I love sitting on my own porch and having a big yard. Best of all–” she admits, “–my kids are proud. We are happy to know that if anyone in our family falls on hard times, they have a place to live. With me.”