On April 9, 2015, Becky McColley and her two daughters were handed the keys to their first home at her Habitat for Humanity dedication service. After working with HRDC and Habitat for Humanity for several years, Becky was finally able to call the house in the Heights “hers”. She is now the proud owner of Mid-Yellowstone Valley Habitat for Humanity’s 70th house.
In 2012, Becky decided she was ready for home ownership. She began her search, but quickly found that the homes which were suitable for her family were not affordable on her budget. She had heard of Habitat for Humanity and decided to give them a call. Her application was accepted and she was able to partner with them. She began to build up “sweat equity”, where she would labor on other Habitat homes in order to build up enough hours to earn her own home. Habitat for Humanity referred her to HRDC’s Savings for Tomorrow Individual Development Account program, where she would learn about homeownership and financial literacy.
In 2014, Becky began HRDC’s Savings for Tomorrow program and gained valuable information and tools she needed in order to purchase her home. According to Becky, “The most valuable information I gained from this program was to prepare me for savings, budgeting, and the closing of my new home.” Armed with the new information, she was able to prepare her finances for the new challenge. “I am excited to start this new chapter in my life as a homeowner”, said Becky, “I am excited to start investing in something meaningful for myself and to have a safe home for my children and grandchildren to grow up.”
When asked what advice she has for someone beginning the program, Becky said “Take as much information out of it as you can because it is very helpful when you start to finalize your goals of home ownership.”
The Assets for Independence (AFI) program is a subprogram of the Saving for Tomorrow program available to participants in Big Horn, Carbon, Custer, Musselshell, Rosebud, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, or Yellowstone County. AFI is a matched savings program to help families and individuals save enough money for such things as buying a home, paying for post-secondary education or training, and starting or expanding a small business. HRDC can be contacted at 406.247.4732.