Homeownership is Attainable in Nashville

By: Holly Bowman

June 1, 2022

The Housing Fund has sold its second Community Land Trust home. The new homeowner, Jawharrah, embodies the population that The Housing Fund set out to reach through this program. She was not always in a place where homeownership could be achieved, however Jawharrah became dedicated to bettering her life and taking advantage of every opportunity that presented itself to her.

“When someone tells you no, keep going until you get a yes. If I can do it, anyone can.”

Homeownership used to be a dream for Jawharrah, but now it is a reality.  She had a determined mindset to make it to this point, seizing opportunities and creating meaningful connections with those she met along the way. “When someone tells you no, keep going until you get a yes,” Jawharrah shared this quote that helped shift her mindset and hopes it can motivate others to tackle the challenges in their way. The Housing Fund is honored to be a part of Jawharrah’s story and aims to support many more on their path to homeownership- no matter where their journey started.

Jawharrah, a single mom of three children, was born in Virginia and moved to Nashville with her family as a young child. In 2010, Jawharrah was incarcerated and served a three-year sentence. After her release, the reality of rejoining her community hit hard with little to no available resources to help her start over. For years, Jawharrah worked daily pay jobs to make ends meet. In 2016, she came to the McGruder Center and was referred to a local nonprofit organization that assists formerly incarcerated women and men. Jawharrah started volunteering with this organization while simultaneously working to obtain her aesthetician license in hopes of starting her own business.

After graduating, Jawharrah started her business out of her home for a few years, all while taking business classes at the McGruder Center, and even joining Corner to Corner Nashville with the hopes of opening her own store front. She was able to achieve this goal and now provides luxury beauty services from her shop all while promoting women’s entrepreneurship. During this time, Jawharrah never stopped volunteering for the nonprofit organization, eventually accepting a part-time and then full-time position in 2019 as director of outreach, contributing to legislation, participating in local advocacy campaigns, and raising community awareness through various social media platforms.  Her work is very personal for her and, as she focused on helping heal the community through her work, she never stopped working on herself.

Last fall, Jawharrah met Andrea who works with EXP Realtors and was encouraged to take first-time homebuyer education classes. This was when Jawharrah really started to change her mindset about her ability to become a homeowner. Andrea encouraged Jawharrah to get pre-approved for a mortgage and work with The Housing Fund to secure down payment assistance. However, when Jawharrah was pre-approved in February 2022, she reached out to Alisha Haddock, Vice President of Community Impact at The Housing Fund, whom she had previously worked with at the McGruder Center. The timing of this was perfect as the first property had just sold and the second property was under development and on the market. Jawharrah worked with Alisha to apply to the Community Land Trust (CLT) program.

The CLT is a program at The Housing Fund that offers affordable housing to those who need it. The Housing Fund owns land and houses are built on that land. The Housing Fund then leases the land and sells you the house, making you a homeowner. The goal of the Community Land Trust is to give more families the opportunity to own homes and build wealth. In the program, Jawharrah took additional homebuyer education courses and readied herself for the responsibilities of homeownership. As of May 23, 2022, Jawharrah is now the proud owner of her first home and is eager to start yet another chapter of her life, providing greater stability for her family.

For more information about the Community Land Trust program, contact Alisha Haddock, Vice President of Community Impact at 615-515-2206 or email ahaddock@thehousingfund.org.