Non-profit helps Indianapolis residents achieve dream of home ownership

INHP gave Kelisha Anderson and her family the chance to own their own home.
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - For more than 25 years, a group in Indianapolis has been helping Hoosiers accomplish one of the biggest goals of adulthood - buying a home.

For Kelisha Anderson, the step was life-changing.

Anderson closed on her first home less than a year ago. It was a sense of accomplishment years in making. If it weren't for her godmother recommending the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership - or INHP, as it's commonly called - her dreams might not have come true.

"At first, I felt like buying a house was just so far out, and to do it within, less than two years, it's just…I don't know what I would've done without INHP," Anderson said.

INHP is a non-profit serving Marion County, helping those with low-to-moderate and even middle incomes achieve the "American Dream."

"I think the program is for anyone that wants to explore the potential for home ownership. If you've got a dream of home ownership, we can help you unlock that," said Rob Evans, COO & Executive Vice President of Howneowner Initiatives.

Programs are geared toward two types of people looking to purchase a home, based on your financial status. People will meet with INHP advisors once a month. It typically lasts 24 months and budgeting is typically the biggest topic.

"Our program is really designed to meet you where you are," Evans said. "So somebody could come to us and from a credit perspective they're there - they would qualify for mortgage financing and maybe they have their down payment. Well, what we can do for them is help them understand the wide array of quality, affordable mortgage products available in the marketplace."

Evans says others in the market to buy a home have certain barriers they have to face before they're ready.

"Often times, it's credit. Maybe it's lack of credit or some credit challenges. Maybe they don't have a down payment saved…and sometimes, Ben, it's fear. Fear can be a real barrier," he said.

For Kelisha Anderson, fear was a reality. In the process, she went through hardships in her personal life, including the death of her mother and her little boy being diagnosed with leukemia.

"I wanted to quit, I wanted to just, you know throw in the towel, it was just kind of not a priority - but them suffering so much loss gave me a drive to give them something back," she said.

Kelisha says INHP advisors were always there, supporting her along the way.

"Working with them hasn't just been about purchasing a home to me, it gives me a sense of being able to set a goal and accomplish it," Kelisha said. "It was like a dream come true. Like I said, starting out I was so…thinking it was so far off that I just couldn't do it. So, when I actually got the keys, I didn't tell anyone. I just wanted it to be, like, they knew and my siblings knew and that's about it. I didn't tell my best friends until I had my keys in my hand. And, when that moment hit, it was like a dream come true, honestly."

In 2016, Evans says that nearly 400 people achieved their dream of home ownership.

"If you're looking to purchase a home, INHP is definitely, definitely, it's a gold mine," Anderson said.

INHP also offers a "repair" program for those who need to fix up their current home, but can't afford to do it. If you think you'd be a good candidate for one INHP's programs, or you know someone who would, visit their website, INHP.org.

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