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Rock Hill housing authority program helping public housing residents gain home ownership

Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 6:26 PM EDT
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ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - The Rock Hill Housing Authority is launching a new program to get people who are living in public housing out of their rentals and into a home of their own.

”Our home is home now but it’s different when it’s yours,” said Holly Simpson, who got a house through the program.

Holly Simpson is getting her moving boxes ready. After years of paying rent, she is moving into home ownership.

”It’s scary. It’s exciting because you know that you finally worked so hard to get something and you know that it’s going to be yours,” said Simpson.

Simpson built her credit up brick by brick, but while on the road to homeownership, she realized she did not have a road map. That is when she leaned on Rock Hill Housing Authority’s ROSS program.

”The knowledge that they’ve given me and the steps that I needed to go through, I couldn’t have done it without them,” she said.

The Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency Program, or ROSS, encourages people in public housing to ditch the rent and get a home. It also meets people where they are—connecting them with jobs, working with them to understand financial literacy and helping them with education.

”Just being able to support folks in self-sufficiency has been so rewarding,” said ROSS Service Coordinator Shawanda Erby, who heads the program.

She says her experience gives her perspective.

”I was a high school dropout. Little to no job skills,” says Erby. “So for me to know the struggle in becoming self-sufficient I just want to be to these families what I didn’t have.”

Because of that work, Simpson says her kids will finally get a house to turn into home.

”They’re super excited to have their own backyard and their little space,” said Simpson.

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