OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. – Community leaders in Osceola County are announcing a life-changing new program designed to help families purchase their first home.
During a news conference on Monday, Osceola County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry revealed details of “Pathway to Housing.”
“This is definitely thinking outside the box at the most critical time that’s needed,” Choudhry said. “We’re going to start working very, very hard to be sure this is 100% successful.”
The program was formed through public and private partnerships to help assist families who face the challenges of the growing housing crisis.
“Together, the community is making this happen to help people overcome barriers to homeownership,” Salvation Army Capt. Ken Chapman said.
Initially beginning with eight to 10 families, the program will pay their rent for a year. The money saved during that time will then be matched for a down payment towards purchasing a home.
“We will pay their rent for a whole year and have them go through financial literacy,” Chapman said. “They’ll get all the tools they need. We’ll match the down payments and move people into homeownership to help abate this housing crisis.”
For families to qualify, their housing expenses must be 30% or more of their income.
“It’ll be families that we think will have success at that 30% level and be able to be willing to do the things that they need,” Chapman said.
Once families own their homes, financial education will continue to put them on a path to success.
Organizers said they hope the pilot program will expand through Central Florida and even further.
“It’s going to take hard work. It’s going to take dedication and definitely a commitment from families to be able to learn to get there,” Choudhry said.
The Salvation Army said “Pathway to Housing” is expected to be operational by July.
For further details about the programs available through the Salvation Army, click here.