Terrance Pearson has been connected to the Newberry neighborhood in southwest Detroit for all his life. He is now 46.
“I basically grew up here,” Terrance said. “I’ve seen it when it was decent, then when it started to go bad, and now, when it’s coming up and there’s life and positivity. Homeownership is definitely improving things. People care more because it’s our neighborhood.”
Terrance recently became the 25th new homeowner through Southwest Solutions’ Newberry program. In the 8-block Newberry neighborhood, Southwest Solutions acquired 60 rental houses with the purpose of transitioning them to affordable homeownership. Current renters have priority in taking advantage of this unique opportunity.
Terrance had been renting his current house for four years before signing the mortgage. The signing was virtual because of the Covid crisis. His monthly rental payments had been $675. Under his 15-year mortgage, his monthly payments, including taxes and insurance, are only $502. The purchase price was $59,000. In addition, up to $20,000 in downpayment assistance is available to each Newberry homebuyer as a conditional grant, thanks to a $2.5M grant from the Sam L. and Judith G. Yaker Fund.
“I’m on disability assistance, but I’ve always dreamt of becoming a homeowner, and so I’m ecstatic!” Terrance said. “I’ve started painting the porch and I have other plans to make this place my own.”
Like all Newberry homeowners, Terrance completed a Homebuyer Education class at Southwest Solutions to learn about the process and responsibilities of homeownership. He then worked with a financial counselor at Southwest Solutions, Teresa Torres, to raise his credit score so he could qualify for the mortgage, which was arranged by Todd Burk, who heads the mortgage lending program at Southwest Solutions.