Leaving a Housing Legacy

Penny Miles was running out of options. The grandmother of seven had an apartment in Murfreesboro she called home for years, but when the landlord sold the property to a development group, the cost of her rent doubled almost immediately.

Miles, who is retired and lives on a fixed income, didn’t know how she would be able to afford the rent, much less pay for essentials like food, medicine and utilities.

“I was paying over $400 a month, but when they sold the apartments it went up to over $800,” she said. “There was no way I could afford to pay that.”

Miles was at a loss. Not knowing what her next move would be, she confided in a friend that she needed to find a new place to live because she couldn’t afford the apartment she was in.

“She told me that I should check with Habitat for Humanity and see if they could help me,” Miles said.

So, she did just that. After meeting with the Rutherford County Habitat staff, Miles found out that she qualified for their program and could own her own home instead of just renting. She was ecstatic.

“I was so happy to find out that they could help me,” she said.

A few months later, after putting in over 300 hours of sweat equity, Miles was ready to move into her new home in Rutherford County Habitat for Humanity’s Legacy Pointe subdivision.

“I just love my new home,” Miles said. “I got to pick out the floor plan, the color of the paint. I have a big open kitchen like I wanted.”

The neighborhood, which will eventually include 76 single-family homes, was built with the help of funds from THDA’s Tennessee Housing Trust Fund and from funds made from selling mortgages as part of THDA’s Tier 1 and Tier 2 New Start Mortgage Program.

Miles, who was one of the first five new residents of Legacy Pointe, said she enjoys the location of her new home and the neighbors she has gotten to know since she moved in.

“It’s a great neighborhood,” she said. “I’m getting to know my neighbors and just really enjoy being a homeowner and living here. It’s mine and I don’t ever have to worry about moving again.