Months into the mortgage application process, Sarah Burns of Savannah received a call from the underwriter, looking for a document she didn’t have and didn’t know how to get. Crying, she drove out to the beach at Tybee Island and sat desolately watching the waves as her tears flowed. Meanwhile, her phone kept ringing. Finally, she answered it.
It was a CHSA staff member, calling to encourage her. “I thought I was done,” remembered Ms. Burns. “But I wasn’t. I just had to wait a little longer, and I got those papers in order.” Ms. Burns closed on her home very soon after that.
Burns took advantage of home buyer education courses at the outset of her homeownership journey, but found the process of cleaning up her credit to be a huge emotional and logistical hurdle. Regular encouragement from CHSA staff helped. “Putting in the time and effort to do it was hard,” she recalls. “I had to decide that I could do it, and to fight for it!”
Her turning point on the beach at Tybee points up a cultural difference. Although her parents inherited their home from her grandparents, none of her siblings owned a home. Few of her friends or neighbors, all of whom had modest wages, had experience applying for a mortgage. She is now a volunteer with CHSA, helping others like her to achieve the dream of owning a home.
Buying a home is more complex than renting. But for persons with modest wages, that rent is a lost opportunity to build wealth and housing stability.
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Picture of a row of beautiful homes
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Create & Retain Affordable Homes
Logo – Savannah Affordable Housing Fund
CHSA deploys funding to:
Everyone deserves a home!
CHSA invests in neighborhoods…
Before 2018, 30% of Cumming Street Homes were burned, vacant, or dilapidated, negatively impacting property values by 40%.
By the end of 2023, nine newly built and renovated affordable homes on Cumming Street are filled with new families and good neighbors.
CHSA supports neighborhood contractors—85% of our contractors are minority-led firms!
Our subsidiary CHSA Development, serves as a master developer for several projects in Savannah. Savannah Gardens Community
102 single family homes and 584 multi-family rentals
CHSA funds home repairs and works with volunteers to fix houses.
Savannah Affordable Housing Fund logo.
Logo – Chatham Savannah Authority for the Homeless
CHSA partners to build housing for non-profits like the Homeless Authority.
Logo – Tiny House Project
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Employers, like SJCHS and others, can set up down payment assistance for their employees through CHSA!
Please choose CFC 18393!
For every dollar invested, CHSA leverages $9 in other funding.
Evey dollar helps!
Equal Housing Opportunity certified
Equal Housing Lender certified.
Please choose CFC 18393!
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