Jonesboro Housing Authority Putting Folks In Their Place....Home

January 27, 2005 – Posted at 4:50 p.m. CST
JONESBORO -- Back in August, K8 News introduced viewers to a man who was having trouble finding a job because he's partially blind. He's in the news again, but this time because he a new homeowner. But what makes that special?
Chris Hall is partially blind, but that isn’t stopping him from owning his own home.
“When your on disability as I am your on a very limited income,” said Hall, who lived in federally subsidized housing.
“You have to live in places that aren't really all that desirable,” said Hall, “But now, I'm paying a third of what I was paying and it's my home.”
Hall is still a Section 8 resident but Congress passed legislation that allows U.S. Housing Authorities to help clients realize the American dream.
Jonesboro Housing Authority Executive Director Sharon Poe said, “Now we can use that same housing assistance payment go towards a mortgage payment, instead of paying a landlord we're now paying a mortgage.”
Clients still have to go through all of the red tape that comes along with buying a home. “We refer them to realtors who know our program,” said Poe.
But once the house hunt is over, “They have to go through a lender they have to qualify for their loan the own their home completely we do not own their home,” said Poe. “I can't stress enough the independence an self esteem it gives you,” said Hall.
Plus there's a lot more room for Hall’s best friend. “He can run and play other than being on a leash or harness all the time,” laughed Hall.
The Jonesboro Housing Authority wants to see at least nine more people follow in Hall’s footsteps this year. They already have two more people who will close on their houses next month.