Brooke Johnson didn’t expect to find herself living in a small rural town in Bourbon County, but when the perfect opportunity at homeownership through Community Ventures’ Rural Rehab Program presented itself, the former city girl jumped at the chance.
As a non-profit organization designated a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO) by the Kentucky Housing Corporation, CV works with individuals to find a suitable home in a qualifying county, then purchases and renovates the property with input from the future homeowner while working out financing options.
Johnson found out about homeownership assistance programs aimed at low-income persons from someone close to her, who had also gotten into a house with help from CV. Johnson had already completed a homebuyer education course through HUD, so she came to CV ready to roll with her credit under control and two years of steady employment.
“I came to CV to find the right loan product and the right house,” Johnson explained. “I worked with Myron Agnew and Jackie Faris. Myron was a huge part of getting absolutely everything right with my house. He looked at every house with me, no matter how many I wanted to go to. He was really great!”
But for a single mother of three in the midst of a crazy housing market, finding the perfect home for her family wasn’t easy.
“I kept looking at all these different houses, and they all looked good on the internet. But when you drive up to them, you are like…no. Just no,” Johnson said, shaking her head.
“Myself, Myron and my realtor were all at one property—the worst we had seen—and I was getting really discouraged. I looked online again while we were still there, and saw a house in Millersburg. I couldn’t believe it—the square footage was so good—1,500 square feet, and the price—it was only $120,000. We went straight to look at it. Myron was like “This is nice! This might be it!” He was telling me all the stuff that they could do to fix it up, and that it would easily qualify. My realtor said “You found a needle in a haystack in this market!””
Following extensive renovation by CV that included replacing the HVAC system, all new windows and extensive work in the attic and under the house to ensure energy efficiency, Johnson has moved into her new home. She is enjoying small-town life in rural Bourbon County, and will soon graduate college with a degree in psychology focusing on substance abuse. Johnson is considering accepting a position at a substance treatment facility while she works on her Masters level certification as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
Johnson’s plans for the future include opening a community center—perhaps in Paris, also in Bourbon County—that focuses on helping those at risk steer clear of substance abuse by providing healthy, productive, uplifting options for free time while allowing others, themselves in recovery, to “pay it forward.”
To learn more about CV’s Rural Rehab Program, contact Jackie Faris today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (859) 231-0054.