From homelessness to homeownership

February 11th, 2020
Temia Gaines and her daughter Mia after Temia signed her closing papers

Two years ago, Temia Gaines and her three small children were without stable housing and a place to go. They stayed in a storage unit for a while before going to a shelter. Now Temia is a homeowner, with a chance to build wealth as her neighborhood improves and property values increase.

“This is a very big thing for me and my kids,” said Temia after signing her closing papers. “It’s more than a roof over our heads. I always wanted to become a homeowner but didn’t know how it would be possible. God is good.”

Temia’s family is the 19th to gain homeownership through our Newberry program. The program involves 60 houses that Southwest Solutions acquired in an eight-block area of the Chadsey Condon neighborhood in southwest Detroit. The houses were built as low-income rental properties, and Southwest Solutions is making them available for affordable homeownership. Current renters have priority in becoming homeowners.

Temia had been renting her home for a year and a half. Her rental payments were about $675 a month. Under the terms of her 15-year home loan, her monthly mortgage payments are about $500, including taxes and insurance.

“I’m looking forward to raising my kids here,” Temia said. “People in the neighborhood want something better in life and they care about making it a better place. I’m happy to be among them.”

The Newberry program is supported through a generous donation from the Sam L. and Judith G. Yaker Fund.

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