Homeownership – and the agency that comes with it – is a milestone that everyone should be able to experience. However, rising interest rates and a low housing inventory have kept homeownership out of reach for many, including Ebony Tarrance, a mother and hair stylist from Montgomery, Alabama.
Becoming a homeowner would give Ebony stability to put down roots for her children and allow her more time to focus on professional aspirations like expanding her styling business. When Ebony’s journey to homeownership was met with these roadblocks, she turned to the homeownership program at Habitat for Humanity’s Montgomery chapter for assistance.
“Increasing access for families to own an affordable home and build generational wealth is our ultimate goal,” said Mark Hall, Executive Director, Montgomery Habitat. “Having that foundation is the launchpad to future success.”
As part of Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program, Ebony participated in a series of hands-on and classroom-based homebuyer education classes designed to prepare participants for ownership. Topics ranged from budgeting and small home repairs to landscaping and retirement planning – covering all aspects of the ownership and post-occupancy process.
In addition to coursework, Ebony also completed more than 200 hours of sweat equity by working on the build site of her future home. Valley associates joined Ebony on her build, helping with construction projects, improvements, and cosmetic updates.
After more than 15 months of construction work and participating in Habitat’s homeownership program, Ebony’s home was finally ready for her family to move into in April 2023.
To celebrate the milestone, Habitat Montgomery hosted a home dedication in partnership with Valley and other community partners. As a new homeowner, Ebony now has the capacity to focus on her business and build her own legacy of generational wealth for her children.
“Helping families like Ebony’s reach these milestones is why we do what we do,” said Hall. “Not only has Ebony’s dream of homeownership been realized, but she’s better able to provide a legacy of wealth for her children, setting them up for similar success in the future. That’s how much of a difference homeownership can make – and it’s why we’re committed to helping as many families as possible achieve this dream.”
As a longtime partner of Habitat for Humanity, Valley is proud to support their mission to create a world where everyone has a place to live. Like Habitat, Valley’s Journey to Homeownership educational series guides first-time homebuyers through the buying and ownership process, providing access to resources and financial tools that make homebuying easier.
“When it comes to the homeownership process, we’re with you every step of the way – especially for first-time homebuyers,” said Delpha Bartley-Jones, Regional CRA Officer for Alabama at Valley Bank. “Our Journey to Homeownership series and our financial literacy courses are designed to help first-time buyers navigate what can often be a complex and intimidating process. Our team is committed to taking the complexity out of it by providing aspiring owners with the right financial tools to make this dream a reality.”
With homeownership under her belt, Ebony is focused on growing her business, and is working with Valley to discuss her business banking account and participate in additional financial literacy workshops on budgeting, savings, and credit. We’re proud to help her continue this journey and we can’t wait to see where the future takes her.
To learn more about Habitat Montgomery and their homeownership program, please visit www.habitatmontal.org/homeowners.