Photo: Esperanza sits in the living room of her home.

When a HUD-approved housing counselor at ACTS Housing first met Esperanza, she was on her hands and knees scraping old tile off the floor of her new home, debris flying everywhere.  In that moment, her housing counselor knew she was a woman on a mission.

Esperanza went to ACTS Housing, a HUD-approved housing agency, because she was tired of paying high rental costs. “Half of my check goes to the rent,” said Esperanza. “With three kids, I was ready. I’ve been saving so long and my kids deserve more.”

The first step in Esperanza’s homeownership journey was a meeting with Maria Santos, Director of Homebuyer Counseling for ACTS Housing.  Maria Santos, pulled Experanza’s credit report, walked her through various housing options, and supported her every step of the way. Maria explained, “Esperanza was a joy to work with. She was passionate and focused on homeownership from day one.”

With Maria’s help, Esperanza purchased a property that had been in foreclosure on the South Side of Milwaukee, and renovated it into the home of her dreams. Having worked in the construction trade for five years, Esperanza had the perfect skillset to take on such a big project. She explained, “Once I got the house, the kids were excited because everyone has their own room now. And, I have more money in my pocket.” Esperanza, her three children, their dog and cat are now happy and cozy in their newly renovated South Side home.

Maria explains that watching homeowners like Esperanza achieve their home buying dreams makes her job worthwhile. “The most rewarding part of my work is watching families overcome obstacles and move closer to homeownership,” said Maria. “I work with a lot of incredibly strong individuals who work hard to become homeowners. Once the keys are in hand, it makes all the hard work worth it.”

ACTS Housing is thankful for Esperanza’s commitment to her family and her home. She has joined a cohort of more than 2,200 ACTS families since 1995 who have done the hard work necessary to become homeowners throughout Milwaukee.

Read the latest issue of The Bridge from HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling or subscribe at TheBridge@hud.gov.

- See more at: http://blog.hud.gov/index.php/2017/06/16/transitioning-renters-homeowners/#sthash.0WK6SmvR.dpuf

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