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When the Hinesville Housing Authority was created in 1959, the need for housing in Liberty County was quite different than it is today. Not only are there housing programs for people with no income or low income but also those with not enough income for the market.

These new needs are why the Hinesville Housing Authority has continued to evolve by creating the Liberty County Community Housing Development Organization (LCCHDO) and working with local partners such as the City of Riceboro. Out of this recent partnership, the Chatman Homes development was built to provide homeownership opportunities in rural areas of the county.

The newest homeowner, Joshua Davis, was able to purchase a home in Riceboro, Ga thanks to funding made available by the Community HOME Investment Program (CHIP). Davis is a single father of five children ranging in age from 16 years old to 4 years old. He started the home buying process with the dream of having a permanent home to pass on to his children.

With the help of his older sister, Yolanda Gonzalez, he was able to improve his credit score to take advantage of low-interest rates. However, the process still proved to be more stressful than he imagined.

“It was more strenuous than I thought it would be because of the wait time,” Davis said. “ After losing bids In Statesboro, Guyton, and Rincon, I stumbled across this one and gave it a try. Near the end, we had to push back closing a week and that was frustrating but it worked out.”

On closing day, both Davis and Gonzalez were excited about the purchase not just as an investment but also for the stability and safety it would provide. The siblings share a rare disease called Machado Joseph disease which causes muscle deterioration among other health issues. To have a home that is large enough to accommodate his family and provide ADA accessibility was important.

“I’m happy I was able to help my brother achieve his dream,” Gonzalez said. “His mortgage is exactly $100 more than his rent so he doesn’t have to worry about affording it and he now has someplace for his kids to always come back to.”

They both have advice for those wishing to purchase a home soon.

“First and foremost, have good credit,” Gonzalez said. “The better credit score helps. From there, shoot your shot.”

Davis added that the paperwork is lengthy but encourages people to stay positive and give homeownership a try because it is worth it. He says he is happy to enjoy his home in Riceboro where it is quiet with no crime. It also reminds him of where he grew up in Burke County. Now he looks forward to creating great childhood memories with his children in their new home.

“I hope that stories such as this remind people that we need to continue providing opportunities for everyone who needs help finding housing for their unique situations and

circumstances,” said Melanie C. Thompson, CEO of the Hinesville Housing Authority. “Whether its emergency housing, down payment assistance or workforce housing, the Hinesville Housing Authority is committed to providing housing solutions for everyone.”

Hinesville Housing Authority

The Hinesville Housing Authority (HHA) was created in 1959 by the City of Hinesville under the housing and development laws of the United States and Georgia. Its mission is to provide safe, affordable housing options that improve the quality of life for all residents of Liberty County, Ga.  HHA has grown to include the Hineshouse Property Management & Maintenance Services, Hineshouse Properties and Hineshouse Development subsidiaries to expand its housing services. For more information, visit www.hinesvillehousingauthority.org.

 Liberty County CHDO

The Liberty County Community Housing Development Organization (LCCHDO) is a nonprofit, community-based, service organization staffed with the capacity to develop affordable housing for the Liberty County community. The LCCHDO was founded in 2018 to provide diverse housing opportunities in Liberty County Georgia and surrounding areas through the development of economically sustainable communities and self-sufficient citizens. For more information, visit www.libertychdo.org.

Photo Notes

 Davis closing: Joshua Davis signs closing documents to purchase his new home on July 14, 2021.

Davis Homeowner: Joshua Davis enjoys time on his porch with his youngest son. Davis purchased his new home in Riceboro on July 14, 2021, using assistance from local affordable housing programs.

Gonzalez Support: Yolanda Gonzalez helps unpack her brother’s kitchen items as he settles into his new home.