Ms. Freda, an 80-year-old cancer survivor, has lived in her downtown Wilmington home for over 40 years. Hurricane Florence badly damaged her roof which led to water intrusion and, eventually, mold. The cost to repair exceeded $15,500; her annual Social Security income is just over $12,000.
She had homeowners’ insurance and was awarded a claim but, sadly, she became the victim of post-disaster contractor fraud, costing her the money she spent on repairs that never happened.
Now, she was out of money and unable to afford repairs on her own. She was afraid she would have to sell her home as many of her neighbors did. Fortunately, she qualified for WARM’s free home repair services. Compassionate volunteers made the over-due repairs needed to keep the spunky senior in her home for years to come.
Now, she can safely live out her golden years and pass her home to the next generation. Ms. Freda’s heirs will have a head start in a town where housing costs are skyrocketing.
Many people who work in public service, healthcare, hospitality, and entry level jobs cannot afford to live where they work. But Ms. Freda’s wise investment, bolstered by WARM donors and volunteers, will offer her family the option to live in the city or use the equity to create a life elsewhere.
Ms. Freda’s story illustrates the primary way families break the cycle of poverty: homeownership.
When a family has lived in poverty for two generations or more, they’ve established a pattern of generational poverty. Children born into poverty may lack the resources, education, and/or hope to change their trajectory. This puts them at a disadvantage well into adulthood. And the cycle continues.
But one choice, purchasing a home, followed by years of financial discipline, can literally change the future.
Here’s another important thing about Ms. Freda. She has paid off her mortgage!
She is not alone; over 50 percent of WARM homeowners have no mortgage. This usually creates a few of these benefits:
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