LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Chauntez Williams had thought about what she would say, but when the moment came, she was overwhelmed.
“I'm so grateful,” she said, with tears in her eyes, during a press conference in her driveway. “This is a dream of mine. This is the only dream that I have, is to be a homeowner and mission accomplished, everybody. Thank you so much.”
Williams had waited three years for the three keys to her Algonquin home, made possible in part through the Rotary Club of Louisville’s West Louisville Housing Initiative.
The program is administered by Park Community Credit Union and provides down payments and 30-year mortgage loans to qualified buyers of homes in West Louisville, organizers said.
“Home ownership is the foundation of generational wealth building, but traditional banking regulations and decades of redlining policies made buying a home difficult, if not impossible, for families in West Louisville,” said Denise Sears, with the Rotary Club. “They were often paying more in wealth-draining rent than the mortgage would be for the same house. And although they could afford a mortgage, they couldn’t get a mortgage.”
Williams was preparing to move on Thursday and was already thinking about how she’d make the house a home.
“I want to have cookouts, barbecues and birthday parties,” said Williams. “It’s just an overwhelming feeling that I can’t even describe.”
It’s estimated 40 families will buy homes through the program, according to organizers.
The Rotary Club has received $2.5 million in pledged donations, but it is committed to raising double that, and Park Community Credit Union will match up to $3 million those funds raised, according to the club.