Homeless Veteran Finds Keys to Homeownership in Norfolk

For More Information: 

Jenn White Moore
jmoore@nrha.us
757.314.2009

For Immediate Release
Release Date: 
Tue, 02/10/2015

Norfolk, VA (February 5, 2015) –Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority has placed the state’s first homeless military veteran into homeownership in response to the “Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness”, a national initiative announced by First Lady Michelle Obama last June and embraced by the City of Norfolk and Commonwealth of Virginia.

“We are extremely proud that the first veteran in Virginia to use a VASH voucher for homeownership – chose to live right here in Norfolk,” said Mayor Paul D. Fraim.  “As home to the world’s largest naval base, Norfolk is committed to supporting our military and veterans. Whether looking for a home, economic advancement, or workforce opportunities, Norfolk and our partners stand ready to support our veterans in the next stage of their lives.” 

NRHA utilized a program known as the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program, which combines Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) rental assistance for homeless veterans with case management and clinical services provided by Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The program also allows veterans to use their voucher towards the purchase of a home. Instead of using the voucher subsidy to help with rent, the homeownership option allows first-time homebuyers to use the voucher subsidy to meet a portion of the monthly mortgage expense.

Frankie McCattry, a disabled veteran, served in the Navy for almost 12 years. After his time in the military, he was unemployed and struggling to maintain a stable home for himself and his two children. 

In 2011 Mr. McCattry met with the VA office and received his VASH voucher for rent assistance in a private market rental unit.  In the fall of 2013, McCattry enrolled in NRHA Family Self Sufficiency and HomeNet Homeownership programs. There he received employment counseling, built his savings, improved his credit rating, and began homeownership counseling.   During this process he also obtained secure, stable employment and increased his household income significantly.

On December 14, 2014, after an almost 12- month counseling process, McCattry utilized his VASH voucher to close on a newly constructed home in Norfolk’s Central Brambleton area, which was built by NRHA Builder’s and Designers Guild member, Howerin Construction. 

“This journey to homeownership has been a blessing and a dream come true.” expressed McCattry. “The VA and NRHA guided me through the entire process. They were my number one advocates and I could not have done it without them.  I made a promise to my children that we would have a place to call home, and with the help of these organizations, we did just that."

An Unlocking Veteran Homeownership event was held at the home of Frankie McCattry, February 9 at 5pm. The outdoor event included a short program and ribbon cutting followed by a reception at the Brambleton Community Outreach Center.

ribbon cutting

Photo caption (L to R): Mayor Paul Fraim, City of Norfolk; Shurl Montgomery, NRHA CEO;  Commissioner Barbara Hamm Lee, NRHA Chair; Elizabeth McCattry, daughter; Frankie McCattry, homeowner; Bonita Booker, HUD Richmond Field Office; Matthew Leslie, Virginia Department of Veteran Services, Director, Housing Development, Veteran Virginia Wounded Warrior Program.

 

For More Information

“Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness”.

HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH).

NRHA Family Self Sufficiency program

NRHA HomeNet Homeownership program

NRHA Builder’s and Designers Guild

 

About NRHA: 

Founded in 1940, NRHA is a national leader in community revitalization and fostering sustainable mixed-income communities.  As the largest redevelopment and housing authority in Virginia, NRHA is an important driver of the local economy.

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