Sometimes a Google search can be life changing. So it was for Alexis Robinson, a teacher at A.C. Flora High, who was able to buy her first home thanks to Palmetto Heroes and down payment assistance. Alexis started her search with a simple search for “SC homeowner assistance.” One of the returns mentions “look into Palmetto Heroes.” Soon, with the help of Teri Smith at Ameris Bank (SC Housing’s 2018 Loan Officer of the Year), Alexis was out looking for her perfect home in a “semi-rural” area—something close to town but still quiet and private. She teaches advanced math courses to 11th and 12th graders and is glad to have a place to relax at the end of the day.
Catherine Cockman has never wanted to live anywhere other than her beloved Clover, SC. She grew up on Oak Street and still keeps up with her childhood friends. She says she has seen a lot of changes in Clover over the years and the latest change, the construction of the 41-unit Parkside at Bethel apartments (a Housing Tax Credit development) is one that was needed and welcome. Catherine was the first resident to move in. She had already downsized and was living with her daughter when she decided what she really wanted was a place of her own. At this point, she had a television, a chair and her parents’ bedroom suite, but her “other family” at the Methodist Church (now just across the street from Parkside) threw her a housewarming that brought her all the furniture and decorations she needed. She now enjoys having them visit her frequently in her beautiful new home.
Originally from New Jersey, Cindy LaJeunesse is a disabled Housing Choice Voucher recipient who found Sea Pointe Apartments in Beaufort, SC, through SC Housing’s free SCHousingSearch.com apartment location service. Cindy enjoys rescuing homeless animals, and the Housing Tax Credit apartments have beautifully landscaped walking areas for her latest rescue, Cooper; a friendly, seven-year-old Affenpinscher who is now her service animal.
After recovering from a bad fall and hospital stay, the South Carolina Housing Trust Fund made much needed improvements to Gordon Whitaker’s home, allowing him to stay in familiar surroundings. The former Marine was awarded the Order of the Palmetto in 1995 for fighting off an attacker on a city bus and saving the life of the driver and other passengers.
During the summer months, students from the Columbia Urban League Youth Program work at SC Housing learning both the mechanics of business, as well as specifics about our affordable housing programs. The goal is to expose participants to the business environment and encourage their career development. Each student is on-site 20 hours a week for two weeks. They are assigned to an internal supervisor and awarded a certificate of completion at the end. Jalen Blunt came to the agency in July 2018 from Dreher High School to work with the SC Housing Development, IT and Procurement Departments.
When James Nobels decided to buy his first home, he was able to get expert advice from his father, a long time mortgage lender. That advice was, “Look into SC Housing programs.” James found a qualified lending partner, got preapproved and started looking for the house he wanted. Today James is happy at home in the Cayce/West Columbia area and says his new place is “Much more convenient than where I was renting. This is closer to where I needed to be.”
Following a divorce, Kim Theva and her children came to Anderson Interfaith Ministries (AIM) for assistance. As both a client and a worker, Kim signed on as a VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) staffer. AIM, along with SC Housing, helped her to get a priority Housing Choice Voucher. She worked while studying to complete her degree in 2011 from Anderson University, and by 2016, she was ready to buy her first home. Her AIM mentor (and now real estate agent) informed her of the SC Housing Mortgage Credit Certificate, which will save her 50% of her mortgage interest. Today, Kim is Director of Grants for AIM.
Life’s journey takes us many places. For Rose Rollison, the path took her from her native New York, to Dallas, Texas, through the Midwest and finally to Clover, SC, where she found a home at Parkside at Bethel apartments (a Housing Tax Credit development). Clover had been her husband’s hometown years before, and she always kept special memories of it wherever she had traveled. Now she lives in easy walking distance from her church, as well as shopping.