An East Liberty enclave faces change, but this time residents can set down roots

Jasmine Devine of East Liberty's Enright Court (left). Brettney Duck of Catapult Greater Pittsburgh and Mary Hester of LifeVenture Real Estate Services have worked together to get Devine lined up to buy a townhouse for herself and three daughters. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource) (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)
Jasmine Devine of East Liberty's Enright Court (left). Brettney Duck of Catapult Greater Pittsburgh and Mary Hester of LifeVenture Real Estate Services have worked together to get Devine lined up to buy a townhouse for herself and three daughters. (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource) (Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource)

Enright Court’s 99 town homes are a final frontier for ELDI’s development efforts, and an opportunity to turn renting residents into homeowners.

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Photo by Jay Manning/PublicSource

The Devines are only moving one block. But for Jasmine and her three daughters, the impending relocation within a little square called Enright Court is a big jump, and not just because they’ll have a fourth bedroom, plus a bigger yard.

They’ll finally own a townhouse, rather than renting. With that, they’ll be gaining some control over their destinies in East Liberty, a neighborhood where demolitions and rising rents have torn many families out by the roots.

“I’m building a legacy for them,” said Devine, 32, as she stood in her current driveway with her eldest daughter, Jah’Niya, 13. “All she’s worried about is, like, decorating her room.”

Read the full article featured on PublicSource.

Buying a first home is challenging. Brettney Duck, Catapult’s director of homeownership, counsels individuals with homeownership goals. PublicSource reports on ELDI’s development efforts in East Liberty and how Catapult Greater Pittsburgh’s homeownership programs are helping individuals secure homes and set down roots. Their work together is preparing East Liberty residents to learn more about the home buying process, moving them from the renting cycle and toward homeownership.

“They already know what their credit needs to be,” Duck said. “But they don’t know, how do I get pre-approved? What is a sales agreement? How do I get a real estate agent?” The process “can be a struggle, especially when you come from poverty, because you’re already fighting all of these other things.”

Catapult Greater Pittsburgh program participants with a focused and disciplined approach toward homeownership goals can see success. From pre-purchase education to homebuyer education workshops, one-on-one financial counseling and post-purchase equity education, Catapult Greater Pittsburgh ensures systematically disenfranchised communities can meaningfully achieve economic justice and lead dignified and equitable lives. Building generational wealth is an important element in sustainable economic justice. At Catapult, we support wealth building through paths to homeownership and entrepreneurialism. Learn more about our Asset Building programs.

Catapult D.O.O.R. (Developing Ownership Opportunities for Residents) is our pre-purchase program. Participants will develop a comprehensive plan to make the dream of first-time homeownership a reality. D.O.O.R. addresses the specific needs and challenges that a prospective buyer may encounter while supporting the buyer every step of the way. D.O.O.R. consists of monthly homebuyer education workshops and one-on-one counseling.

S.A.V.E. (Solid Advice for your Valuable Earnings) helps increase financial skills and knowledge. For those with homeownership as a long-term goal, check out our trauma-informed S.A.V.E. financial counseling program. We believe that a strong foundation of personal financial knowledge and planning is paramount to future individual successes. Through this program we provide workshops, one-on-one guidance, and materials to keep our community members financially informed and empowered. We address generational poverty through a trauma-informed approach which is unique to the Catapult model.

Catapult K.E.Y. (Keeping Equity Yours) is our post-purchase program that equips homeowners to maintain their property and build upon their financial fortitude. Homeowners attend workshops focusing on sustainable homeownership. Participants will learn basic home maintenance, how to avoid predatory lending, how to manage estate planning, and more.

Consisting of monthly homeowner education workshops and one-on-one counseling, K.E.Y. strives to provide homeowners with tangible skills and tools to maintain and sustain responsible homeownership.

Catapult Greater Pittsburgh engages in emergency resource distribution, peer-to-peer support, wealth building, trauma-informed financial counseling, and policy advocacy to ensure systematically disenfranchised communities can meaningfully achieve economic justice and lead dignified and equitable lives.

Closing the homeownership gap is one big step in a pathway towards economic justice, coupled with strategic financial planning and methodically achieving life goals, Catapult Greater Pittsburgh clients are achieving their dreams while building generational wealth. Contact us to learn more about our homeownership programs and one-on-one counseling services available with Brettney Duck.

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