Clarksville Family Gets First Home In Time For The Holidays
By Adam Ghassemi
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Kaleb Hill is a typical 3-year-old.
He's so playful his mother, LeaAnn Meek, almost immediately knew her growing boy would need a lot of space.
"I just really wanted a place of my own," Meek said Monday. "So me and Kaleb would have our house, a house of our own."
As a single mom who works part-time and is in school to become a teacher, her income only goes so far. That's why when she got pregnant she moved back in with her parents.
After a few years she realized raising Kaleb there could only be temporary.
"Whenever they [children] go to their grandparents' house they eat chocolate, drink coke, do whatever they want and they get away with it. When you go back to your parents' house you have those rules and boundaries and we both lived in the same house and it's hard to control that," she said.
But the process of owning a home made the idea seem more like a dream. So Meek applied and received a grant through Clarksville's Housing and Community Development Department, which covered closing costs and repairs and put her 3 bedroom, $65,000 dollar home in reach.
"I don't have that much money saved up in my bank account to be able to do that. I can make a house payment, but I can't come up with six or seven thousand dollars all at once," Meek said.
Meek only has to cover the monthly mortgage payment. The down payment, closing costs and even repairs were all paid through a collection of grants using federal HOME funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. She must live in the home for five years for some of those funds to be forgiven. The rest would be paid back if she ever sells the property.
There are income requirements and a lengthy application process, which includes an 8-hour class to teach first time home buyers how to be successful.
Today the Rossview Road home has been updated and completely repaired, but Meek's favorite feature of all is it gives her and Kaleb a place to call home.
"I want him to have everything that I had," she said. "I'm really thankful for them."