When single mom and environmental educator Brenna Galligan decided that she wanted to buy a house early last year, she immediately called Home HeadQuarters for help. After speaking to a housing counselor, she realized that she wasn’t in a position to purchase. Her credit wasn’t bad, but her annual income from a local non-profit made buying a home just out of reach.
In October, Brenna’s lease was coming up, her landlord was M.I.A., and after a break-in at her apartment, she was more than ready to move. She saw a posting for HHQs’ Lease-Purchase Program and within minutes, was on the phone with staff and filling out an application. Three weeks later, Brenna and her six-year old son were living in a single-family home, rehabbed by Home HeadQuarters, in Syracuse’s Eastwood neighborhood--a home that one day will be theirs.
“I really have to pinch myself—living in this house, it’s the perfect thing,” says Brenna when talking about the Lease-Purchase opportunity.
The program, made possible through Onondaga County and the Alliance for Economic Inclusion with funds from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, offers families the chance to rent for one to three years while they work to build credit and/or savings to purchase. A portion of the tenant’s rent is set aside each month to help pay for the down payment. Tenants also take advantage of Home HeadQuarters’ certified Homebuyer Education and counseling at some point during the rental period.
“My son can now play outside in our fenced backyard and I can watch him while cooking dinner. I didn’t think that would ever happen for us. I would never be able to afford something like this on the private market,” says Brenna. “My son has to keep reminding me that we’re going home to our house.”
Fill out a Lease-Purchase application