Meet Norris Lunn, a veteran, a Baltimorean and a Perkins Homes resident that has spent most of his life in public housing.  He’s best described as a patient man… one that has waited more than 63 years for his dream of homeownership to come true.  Over the last nine months he could also be described as a driven man attending homeownership classes at Perkins Homes Community Center.  Through these classes Mr. Lunn successfully increased his credit score; created his own personal financial pathway to homeownership with the assistance of Urban Strategies Inc. (USI); who partnered with Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Maryland and was sponsored by PNC Bank.  The Keller Williams Realty team assisted Mr. Lunn in locating the perfect home that met all of his needs including ample parking space for his beloved cars.  He will soon be getting the key to his very first home!

So how did all of this come about, you may wonder… Well, it began when Ms. Anita Donaldson, Case Manager Supervisor of USI, reached out to Mr. Lunn regarding USI’s case management services and asked him if he wanted to try to purchase a home.  Mr. Lunn responded “no” as he didn’t think he was “suitable.”    He was scheduled to meet with Ms. Ernestine Chambers, Senior Project Manager of USI, who quickly responded, “well even if you don’t think so, you could enroll and build your financial stability.”   Mr. Lunn enrolled in the Homebuyers Program in August 2019.

Nine months later, Mr. Lunn increased his credit score by 16% (92 points)!  He is very excited that he was able to locate a home in a neighborhood that he loves with an affordable mortgage payment, where he can age-in-place, and yes, have a driveway for his beloved cars.   His low interest conventional mortgage, closing assistance provided through HUD’s PSO CNI grant, Operation Hope’s Closing Assistance Grant, and his savvy negotiating skills enabled him to have substantial home equity at closing. (Home equity is a homeowner's interest in a home.) 

When asked what the best part of the homeownership program was, Mr. Lunn replied, “It was just really, really nice.  I did everything I was instructed to do, and Ms. Chambers helped tailor a financial plan for me.  She even helped me with gathering and organizing all my papers and offered workshops that explained what I was going to need step-by-step.  I have struggled my whole life.  I didn’t understand anything about homeownership or credit, but Ernestine took the time to help me.”