Marisa, Allen and their three children have been living in their home on Milwaukee ’s north side since 2006.
They were one of the first families to successfully save for and buy a home through Select Milwaukee Inc. and the United Way-supported Individual Development Account Program (IDA). IDAs encourage and reward savings by matching participants’ deposits.
United Way, along with the federal government and private sector organizations, matches savings $4 to $1 for first-time low-income home buyers, and $6 to $1 for postsecondary education. Participants must also take part in financial counseling classes in order to enroll in the program.
“We worked with Select Milwaukee and they helped us with money for a down payment as well as improving our credit,” Marisa explains. “They help educate you on the whole process, and we ended up getting this house.”
Since moving in, the family has put its own special touches on the house, including custom paintings by Marisa. “We’ve had it for a little over 4 years,” says Allen. “It had a lot of work that needed to be done when we first bought it but overall it’s been a good house. I like it.”
Research shows that home ownership promotes healthier families and safer neighborhoods. “The boys like it because they can go outside and ride their bikes,” says Marisa. “And I’m able to take walks, and it’s a little more of a community area.”
Income is one of the building blocks for a good quality of life. Thanks to United Way, families like Allen and Marisa’s are able to achieve financial stability and home ownership.
To learn more about the Homeownership IDA program, call Select Milwaukee at 414-562-5070. To learn more about the Education IDA program, call the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee at 414-267-8150.