Low-income housing in Ashland

My husband and I are trade workers in Ashland. For the last seven and a half years we have rented here in Ashland.

Since our landlord passed away, for the last three years, our landlord’s family has been steadily raising our rent. We’ve been lucky it’s not more. Even so, we spent a year trying to qualify for low-income housing through the city of Ashland.

We were finally not over the income limit after my job demoted me during my pregnancy. We got our letter of approval required to look at low-income units. So, we went to see a low-income condo in Ashland and were told to put in an offer by the real estate agent. She kept telling us she could get double if it wasn’t low-income.

We spent $1,500 on the home inspection, escrow, earnest money, etc. We had family gift money as a 20 percent down payment on $150,000 and obtained a conventional loan with $11,000 from grants via Access, but my new employer stopped paying by the hour while I was on maternity leave and the loan fell through.

The $11,000 in grants had to be returned to Access (who now said we had to reapply for the remaining $1,000 only and the person helping us originally is no longer working there). We decided to apply for a USDA loan while the seller extended escrow. The seller offered to rent to us during this time, but we felt that was too risky.

The USDA loan took seven months to hear anything (meanwhile we still had an offer in on the condo, but no one at the USDA seemed interested in that information), and then they determined we don't even qualify for any money at all for a USDA loan.

The seller offered to rent to us as the real estate agent was still showing us the unit, meaning they had no qualms about uprooting a new family to sell the unit out from under us later. Seriously, the $149,000 we were able to get in a conventional loan with two people shows up as 0 eligibility with the USDA for a family of three with our debt-to-income ratio (since with our rent going up we often have to use credit to make ends meet).

Thankfully, we got our $1,500 back, but that was our attempt at “low-income” housing in Ashland, which we now make too much to qualify for since we both work to support our new son. Additionally, we are consistently $150 over food stamps and ERDC support. We can only surmise Ashlanders must not want their trade workers living among them, just serving their food and giving them massages.

Dana Green

Ashland