Newberry affordable homeownership reaches 75% completion

December 20th, 2021
Jasmine Dantzler at her Newberry home

As 2021 comes to close, our Newberry affordable homeownership program has reached a significant milestone.

It happened when Jasmine Dantzler signed her closing papers, becoming the 45th Newberry homeowner, and signifying the three-quarter completion mark for the innovative program.

In the Newberry neighborhood in southwest Detroit, Southwest Solutions acquired 60 single-family rental properties to transition them to affordable homeownership for low-to-moderate income families. Current renters have priority in taking advantage of this opportunity.

Jasmine had been renting her Newberry home for 14 years before acquiring it.

“I gave it a lot of thought and decided this was a good investment for my kids,” said Jasmine, 39, who has four boys. “I know all my neighbors and the neighborhood is on the upswing with all the other families investing in it, too.”

Jasmine’s home is the ninth one on her street to transition to homeownership through the Newberry program.

“It’s had a transformative effect on the blocks,” said Dan Pederson, who’s the Newberry project manager.

Jasmine purchased her 4-bedroom home for $62,000. She received down payment assistance of $20,000 thanks to a generous donation from the Sam L. and Judith G. Yaker Fund to support the Newberry program. Jasmine’s monthly payment for her 15-year mortgage is about $700, including taxes and insurance.

“It’s a good feeling to know that the money I’m paying is going into my investment rather than into a landlord’s pocket,” Jasmine said.

Jasmine recently got her master’s degree in psychology. She works two jobs with two different nonprofits, and she has strong confidence in her economic future.

“Jobs can come and go, but at the end of the day a home provides stability and a way to build wealth,” Jasmine said.

About a month before Jasmine closed on her Newberry home, Wera Irven closed on hers. Wera had heard about the program at her church. She then took the Homebuyer Education class at Southwest Solutions, which all prospective Newberry homeowners must complete, with the aim of applying for a Newberry home.

“I’d heard about how great Newberry is and I really wanted to live there,” Wera said.

Wera purchased a Newberry home that had been vacant and which Southwest Solutions renovated. Her monthly mortgage payments, with taxes and insurance rolled in, are less than what she had been paying in rent. Wera had been a renter her whole life before the Newberry opportunity. She is 71.

“This is my first home, and it just proves that you’re never too old to do certain things and accomplish certain dreams,” Wera said.

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