Nonprofit looks to make homebuying more affordable

Published: Aug. 4, 2023 at 10:09 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The process of buying a home can be an expensive hassle, especially as affordable housing becomes more of an issue in Augusta and across the country.

It can take months to go through the process and that’s before you come up with all the money.

The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, NACA, is a nationwide organization with an office in Augusta off Tobacco Road.

Each year the nonprofit organization helps anywhere from 400 to 600 people a year achieve their dream locally, according to the Augusta NACA office.

“We were already living together, so we might as well buy a house together,” sisters Ivory and Ebony Williams said.

The Williams sisters joined NACA in early fall 2022. The path to buying a home was not an easy road to travel on.

“I was definitely a little scared in the beginning,” Ebony said.

Ivory said: “Our mother didn’t become a homeowner until she was in her 50s and that home was left to her. She never actually took out a mortgage.”

Nicole Donald is a local mortgage counselor with NACA. She said. “We help to give people hope that they can achieve that dream of homeownership. Anybody can go to a bank and apply for a loan, but they may not have that 700 credit score that they’re looking for.”

So far this year, Donald has counseled roughly 100 people in the home-buying process.

“It’s a 10-step process,” Donald said. “You start with the homebuyers workshop. We are a counseling agency as well, so we counsel you through to qualification. Once you qualify, you then start the process of searching for a home.”

This is a process that seems impossible to become possible.

“You got to work. You got to show them that you’re ready to commit to this because they’re just here to vouch for you. They’re not giving you the loan,” the Williams sisters said.

It’s hard work, but the end goal is what matters to the Williams sisters.

“It’ll be ours,” they said. “It won’t be somebody else’s. And we’ll be working towards something. This is a big investment. It’s not just a roof over your head.”

NACA’s target audience is low to moderate-income households. NACA is looking to open an office in downtown Augusta in the future.

There is a $25 fee as a member each year, and you have to agree to stick with the program. The program is open to anyone and lends based on character as opposed to credit score.

For more information on how to join, visit NACA’s website.