EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - “I have a family, and I have a place to call my home now with my kids, and that’s something that I’ve always wanted to do,” says new homeowner Mackenzee Pagett.
[To learn more about eligibility, call TruVest at 812-777-5850 or check out their website]
Evansville’s Promise Zone is collaborating with a company for a new affordable housing project. A lot of families in Evansville would love to be homeowners, but the cost is just too much.
The prospects are brighter with a partnership in Evansville’s Promise Zone. The mission is to create opportunities for families to own their own homes with mortgage help from TruVest Company.
The family moving into the house is already benefiting from this unique community partnership. They own their own home now, something they say would not be possible without TruVest’s help.
We talked with them Monday about how that mortgage assistance is changing their lives. Pagett and her two kids have been living with a family friend since November.
“It is hard," says Pagett. "It is crowded and crazy. I mean they have little kids too. It’s a mess. I’m ready to get in here and be on my own again.”
She is the first of dozens to benefit from the Promise Zone and TruVest partnership.
“For the next two years we’re going to be working extremely hard with the community to develop all these homes and to help create programs to help people get a pathway to ownership in the homes,” says Peter Bordes with TruVest.
A credit score of at least 600 means eligibility for mortgages through Old National Bank. HOPE of Evansville assists with the down payment.
Kelley Coures with the Department of Metropolitan Development says Evansville’s home ownership rate is 53 percent, lower than the state’s 63 percent.
“We’ve got to find a way to increase our percentage of homeowners in the city, and this is going to be a unique way to do that,” says Coures.
TruVest’s general contractor gutted the blighted house and created a home for Pagett’s family.
“He cried,” says Bordes.
“I did," explained Ryan DeMent with TruVest. "When her daughter was doing snow angels on the floor I actually got teary eyed and cried.”
“They are very excited to move in," says Pagett. "That’s all they’ve been talking about since they’ve seen the house. When are we moving in there? When are we moving in? Can’t wait.”
Daughter Aubrey has her eyes on her new room, and so does Pagett on the all the possibilities right inside the door.
“I just want to decorate it, really,” says Pagett.
The groups plan to rehab 25 homes in the Promise Zone this year, working with local realtors and the Land Bank to locate houses suitable for rehab.