New Program Helps Low Income Home Buyers

Home prices may be falling, but for some families the dream of owning their own home remains a dream. That's why a local organization has teamed up with the city — to make those dreams come true. Bill Stamps has more.
Two months ago Rosa Galvan and her two children were living with her parents. Today, with the help of The Metropolitan Organization, they've got a brand new two-story house in north Houston. Her 4-year old daughter Kathelyn said I could come inside for a look, but only if I followed the house rule.

Bill: "It feels good in here too."

"You have to off your shoes."


Rosa says she was watching TV one day:

"I wasn't really thinking about saving to buy a house."

She heard about a program that helps low income families get their own house. So she picked up the phone, curious to see if they could really help someone like her.

"They checked my credit, work and everything and one day we just started the process. Next thing I knew, they were calling me from the bank."

The Metropolitan Organization (TMO) helped Rosa, and wants to help many more. Its made up of mostly churches and a few other groups. Pastor Richard Hassle belongs to the TMO and believes churches have an obligation to help their own.

"God has called us to help those who can't help themselves. And to make sure that whatever we can do that there's justice. There is no justice when someone is paying exorbitant rent. There is justice when you can work with the city and other organizations, like TMO and Avenue CDC, and then you help them to get into a home."

Many of the project homes are built on abandoned vacant lots. The city kicks in money to buy the land and then the organizations help families with down payment assistance. Up to 30-thousand dollars worth. Their goal is to help people making 25 to 35-thousand dollars a year.

Rosa Galvan: "The first night we couldn't believe it . It was scary. We couldn't sleep. We were just thinking how things changed for us. It completely changed our lives."

Especially her daughters, whom now have there own place to keep Dora and Strawberry Shortcake.

Bill: "This is your room?"

"Yeah, my room is over there."

Bill: "This is nice."

Bill Stamps...KUHF-Houston Public Radio News.