From Homeless to Homeownership: Mom Uses DC Programs to Buy First Home

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Home ownership is part of the American dream, but for people of color, that’s been harder to achieve. D.C. wants to close that gap by making owning a home more affordable.

Brittany Freeman got the keys to her first home Friday.

“That ancestor that made this journey can finally rest, and that’s what it feels like as Black person being able to have homeownership,” she said. “I’m the owner and no longer the slave.”

After years of frustration and being told no by banks, Freeman enrolled in programs offered by the D.C. government that helped her find her dream home and afford it.

“I did a lot of crying, a lot of praying and a lot of researching to understand how do I get out of this situation, and honestly, it takes a government to open that door,” she said.

For years, homeownership in the District has been on the decline for African Americans. In 2005, 46% of Black households owned their own home. By 2020, that number had dropped to 34%.

Freeman, a single mother of twins, knows Friday will be celebrated by her family for generations.

“My children’s father died, and I realized that if something happens to me, they wouldn’t have anything that they have from their parents left behind, and I wanted to create a legacy for my children,” she said.

Freeman, who went from homelessness to home ownership, wants others to learn from her journey.

“You can do it,” she said. “If you look at my story, you can do it, too. That’s what it means for anybody else looking at it. I’m the same person. I had government assistance, I had food stamps, I sat in the WIC lines for hours trying to get help, so if I can do it, you can do it.”

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