Fredy & Ana Jimenez have finally closed on their two-family home on Amherst Street in Providence, after renting for four years.
Photo by Stephen Ide/ONE Neighborhood Builders
By Stephen Ide
ONE Neighborhood Builders
(High-resolution images available upon request)
PROVIDENCE — Ana & Fredy Jimenez have a new reason to be grateful this holiday season. After four years of renting their home on Amherst Street, they are now proud homeowners.
The road hasn’t been easy. Ana explained that the process and cost of buying a home have prevented them from doing it until now.
But with the guidance and organization provided by ONE Neighborhood Builders, they were able to make their dream come true. They closed on their two-family home for $315,000, on Friday, Dec. 16, 2022.
Antonio A. Rodriguez, ONE|NB’s Assistant Director of Facilities, said the house originally was built by Habitat for Humanity in 2013, and purchased by ONE|NB in 2018. Ana and Fredy were among the first tenants in ONE|NB’s Preserving Providence Properties (P3) program, which aims to protect “naturally occurring” affordable homes and help low-income families graduate from renting to ownership. They leased and lived in one side of the home with four of their children. Now, after purchasing the house, they will own their three-bedroom apartment and the one next door, allowing them to generate income to pay their mortgage and earn equity.
The P3 program was specifically designed to help the “missing middle,” households who earn too much to qualify for ONE|NB’s income-restricted apartments, but too little to afford market-rate housing. These households are squeezed and ONE|NB wanted to find a way to help them and pilot a new model of housing development.
ONE|NB started the program in 2018, with an $806,000 social impact investment from the Rhode Island Foundation, purchasing two single family homes and two 2-family homes in Providence. After modest renovations, six families moved in, paying affordable rents.
Ana and Fredy knew they wanted to buy a house for the security of their children: “We wanted them to be in our own house. To be safe,” Ana said. “They could come home every day from school and know this is their place.”
They tried buying another house, but couldn’t qualify for the mortgage. When they rented their current three-bedroom home four years ago, they knew they would be able to eventually buy it, with the help of ONE|NB’s financial coaching. “When I signed the lease, they told me later on it was going to be possible, if I want, to buy the house,” Ana said.
Ana explained that ONE|NB helped organize and guide the couple through the process of buying. And, in turn, the couple has been working hard to save up. Fredy works as a detailer at a car dealership, while Ana works at a fast-food restaurant.
“It means a lot,” Ana said, noting that they are happy that they could buy the home, even though they know they now bear the responsibilities of maintaining it. “For four years we were waiting for this, and now it means I have to work harder to pay the mortgage and stay here.”
“We’re thrilled that Ana and Fredy are our first tenants to purchase a home through our P3 program,” said Jennifer Hawkins, ONE|NB’s Executive Director. “We’re grateful to the Rhode Island Foundation for its impact investment in 2018, which allowed us to test this innovative model, now reaping benefits for our neighbors in Providence.”
Ana and Fredy have known each other since they were seven years old, in the fourth grade, when they were living in Guatemala, but have lived for many years in Providence, only getting together seven years ago. Now 41, and 42, respectively, they have created a blended family of seven children, four of whom, from ages 15 to 20, live with them in the house in Providence.
And after telling their extended family about the closing on Friday, they held a big party at the house to celebrate, Ana smiled. “Everybody was here. It was a full house.”
“To be here today is like a dream, to be in a home that we can call our own,” Fredy said. He added that he appreciates having ONE|NB as a partner through the process, and that ONE|NB was a good landlord who kept up the maintenance on the property.
“It’s been a hard fought battle to get the house, he said. “But ONE|NB gave us the opportunity and I’m very grateful that we were able to get it, through all the struggles we’ve been through.”
Ana said there were moments when it was too difficult and she didn’t want to go through with buying the house, but ONE|NB was encouraging. “Without them, I don’t think we’d be able to have a house. So I thank God that they were there for us.”
About the P3 Program
The Protecting Providence Properties (P3) program is making a difference in our community. Here’s why it matters:
♦ P3 protects naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH), which is essential for keeping our city accessible for all residents.
♦ P3 targets the “missing middle” — those who don’t qualify for many affordable housing programs but still struggle to afford market rent. By leasing homes at a price point that is affordable for this group, P3 helps bridge the gap in the housing market.
♦ P3 allows renters to purchase homes through a shared equity ownership model, ensuring that the homes remain affordable for both the current family and future owners.
♦ P3 was funded through an impact investment from the Rhode Island Foundation, which allows for more innovative approaches to addressing affordable housing. As homes are sold, the investment will be funneled back to RIF, enabling additional investment in our community.