ULS’ Housing Counseling Program (HCP) helps moderate-to-low-income DC residents achieve their homeownership goals. For example, we help DC residents navigate a number of housing programs by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). This month, we wish to celebrate HCP clients who have achieved their homeownership dreams with our support! Read their stories below: 


Shelly becomes a homeowner with the help of HCP and HPAP!

DHCD’s Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) provides financial assistance to DC residents looking to purchase a home. HPAP participants can receive up to $202,000 in interest-free loans and $4,000 in closing costs (depending on their income). After obtaining HPAP funding, participants are responsible for identifying the home that they would like to purchase. Shelly, a single African American woman, began the house search pre-pandemic, in 2019. At that time, she experienced negative credit issues. With the assistance of her HCP counselor, she was able to overcome her credit issues and move forward with applying for HPAP. In 2021, she was approved for HPAP but was unable to locate a home. In 2022, she applied for the program again and was awarded $202,000 in assistance. With funding and increased determination, she was able to locate a home. She became a homeowner in June 2023!

HCP client, Shelly, standing in front of her new home.

Image description: Shelly, a brown-skinned woman with short, brown hair, smiles in front of a light-brown brick building. She is holding up a pair of keys and standing on the building’s stairwell.


Alexis becomes a homeowner with the help of HCP, the IZ program, and HPAP!

The Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) program requires that new housing developments have affordable housing units (including either apartments for rent or condos and townhomes for sale). The IZ program then makes these affordable homes available to households below certain income thresholds. Client #2 is a 22-year-old Howard University graduate student who decided that, after college, she wanted to remain in D.C. She had her eyes set on an IZ property. She took the IZ webinar and acquired the certificate needed to register for the IZ program. Shortly after, an IZ property in the same building became available for purchase. Excited at the thought of becoming a homeowner at 22, she started her research on homeownership. While conducting this research, she quickly realized she would need some financial assistance to afford a home in the District. So, with our help, she turned to HPAP.

The client registered for HPAP’s First Time Homebuyers Workshop. She completed the HPAP workshop and began to submit the required documents. However, we ran into a roadblock. She wasn’t technically a DC resident. She did not have a DC ID, as she was just a college student here, and her residency remained in her hometown. The client committed to doing whatever it took to acquire residency and move forward on the journey to homeownership. And she did just that. She completed her HPAP package and submitted her application. A few days shy of two months later, she received her Notice of Eligibility from HPAP. She experienced a few delays with HPAP issuing funds, which caused some discouragement. Nonetheless, one month later, she closed on a beautiful condo.

Image description: Alexis, a brown-skinned woman with long, straight, and brown hair, stands in front of a black gate and cherry blossoms. She is wearing a blue sweatshirt with a large H at the center and the text “Howard.”


Client #3 repairs the roof of her home with the help of HCP and SFRRP

The Single Family Residential Rehabilitation Program (SFRRP) provides grants to individuals for roof repairs and/or home modifications that make houses more accessible to people with physical disabilities. This SFRRP success story is the quickest the office has seen. In November of 2022, Client #3 came into ULS’ office for a face-to-face, one-on-one session with one of our counselors to get information on the roof repair grant. We advised her on the steps she needed to take and provided her with a list of required documents for the application. The client worked diligently to secure and submit each document. After about one and half months, she submitted her application in January. Mid-April, SFRRP came back with conditions and requested additional documents. HCP immediately reached out to the client to inform her. She worked quickly to obtain and submit the requested documents on April 19, 2023. On April 24, 2023, ULS received the client’s acceptance letter, approving her for the $30,000 roof repair grant.


Published: August 31st, 2023