First-time Home Buyer Spotlight: Yensi Cundumi
Yensi Cundumi overcame many obstacles, including homelessness, to provide a stable home for her son, Femi
In December 2018 Yensi Cundumi and her son Femi celebrated their first holiday in their new home. However, Yensi's path to homeownership was far from easy. In 2011, her partner was deported, sending her and her son on a path to financial instability and eventually homelessness.
Without financial support from her partner, Yensi was left with mountains of debt and forced to send her son to her native country of Colombia to be with his grandparents until she got back on her feet.
"In 2011 my son's father was deported. Femi was only 2-years-old. I was left with debts," says Yensi. "It became really difficult to find someone who could take care of him during the nights. I had to leave my university for one year."
In 2014, Yensi completed her undergraduate degree and brought her son back to the states. Together, they moved into a temporary home with the support of the Sinai Assisted Housing Foundation, an organization that helps families move from homelessness to independence by providing affordable housing.
The turning point in their journey occurred at Sinai Assisted Housing. There, Yensi met a woman who was in the process of buying a home and told her about the various organizations in DC who help low-income, first-time homebuyers.
In May 2018, Yensi contacted LEDC about applying for DC's Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP). She began to work with Maria Jimenez, one of our housing counselors, to apply to DC's HPAP for financial assistance with the purchase process. If selected, she would be awarded a zero-interest loan of up to $84,000 to help with down-payment and closing costs.
Two weeks after submitting the application, Yensi was approved for the maximum financial assistance: an $80,000 down-payment assistance loan, and a $4,000 loan for closing costs. "Everyone told me it would be so hard. But Maria gave me a lot of hope. I was so surprised that in less than 15 days they responded to me," says Yensi.
On August 24, 2018, Yensi signed the papers to her new home, a 2-bedroom house near Deanwood Metro in Northeast Washington, DC.
Yensi says she is overjoyed about finally having a place she and her son can call home.
First-time Home Buyer Spotlight: Delancia Browning
As a Native Washingtonian, Delancia's Dream Was Always to Own a Home in the City - and Then It Became a Reality!
Delancia Browning has lived in the District her entire life. She remembers growing up on 14th Street Northwest and walking past rundown buildings left behind from the 1968 DC riots. Although she has seen the city transform over the last few decades, leaving the District has never crossed her mind.
Her dream has always been to own a home in DC and in turn build wealth for her six-year-old daughter. Two years ago, she decided to start the process and looked to LEDC for guidance. The first time around, she was advised to work on repairing her credit. After two years of hard work, Delancia was in a healthier financial position and officially began the process of buying her first home. This time, things went better.
She worked with Angelica Rufino, one of our housing counselors, to apply for the various down payment assistance programs offered to DC residents and DC government employees. In total, she received nearly $50,000 through HPAP (Home Purchase Assistance Program), EAHP (Employer Assisted Housing Program), and NEAHP (Negotiated Employee Assistance Home Purchase Program) to purchase her first home.
On December 31, 2018, Delancia became the first in her family to own a home. She says that above all else, she is happy homeownership allowed her to build wealth for her daughter. "Now I have a legacy I can leave for my daughter," says Delancia.