IDA Saver Moves from Public Housing into a Home of Her Own

Sheila Nichols joined the IDA Savings Program with BROC in January 2013 to save for a home. She was attending Castleton State College full-time to receive a nursing degree, and she and her daughter were living in public housing. Sheila decided to take part in the Rutland Housing Authority’s Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Sheila began saving and attending the financial education workshops, but in April she was in a car accident and had a financial setback. She was not able to save for several months but was finally able to get back on track with a large deposit in the summer, returned to complete the financial education classes and graduated from college with a degree in nursing by the spring of 2014.

With her savings back on track and college complete, Sheila’s financial life started to move forward. By the end of the summer, she secured employment as a nurse at Porter Hospital in Middlebury and moved out of public housing into a rented home with her fiancé and daughter to be closer to her work. Her fiancé also secured employment at Middlebury College.

Sheila met her savings goal of $1,000 by October 2014 and was ready to take the next steps toward homeownership. She signed up for the home buyer education class through NeighborWorks of Western Vermont to receive her asset-specific education. Sheila and her fiancé continued to save and began looking for a house to purchase. They found the perfect place in the village of Orwell and went to the local bank, First National Bank of Orwell, where Sheila was approved for a $150,000 mortgage in her name to purchase a four-bedroom, two-bathroom, 2,600 sq. ft. house. Sheila closed on the home in March 2015 and she and her family planned to move in the beginning of April — in time to be settled for the arrival of the twins they were expecting in June!

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