Osceola County Commissioner Peggy Choudhry, along with the Salvation Army of Osceola County, introduced on Monday, the first families that will participate in its new Pathway to Housing program, a new affordable housing program that provides a pathway to affordable home ownership in Osceola County. The initiative will provide families in the program with one year of rent payments, among numerous other incentives.

Pathway to Housing is designed to help families break the cycle of housing insecurity by providing them with the tools needed to achieve homeownership and financial stability and is the result of a collaboration between Osceola County, The Salvation Army, and Housing 4 All, and offers vital financial education and assistance to families in need.

“Osceola County, along with the Salvation Army, and so many other non-profits are coming together to help and assist families with home ownership, and meet the American Dream. This is a life-changing experience, and there is no where else that this is happening. Now we’re able to provide these families a pathway to that success,” Osceola Commissioner for District 1 Peggy Choudhry said after the announcement on Monday. 

Pathway to Housing
Pathway to Housing
Pathway to Housing

Through homebuyer courses, credit education, and financial literacy training, participants in the program will gain the skills necessary for long-term financial stability. The Salvation Army and Housing 4 All will then match the families’ rent savings to double their down payment amount on a home of their own in Osceola County.

“We believe that this program shows the true value of all sectors working together to provide hope to families who might not have seen homeownership as an option,” said Captain Ken Chapman, The Salvation Army of Osceola County’s Area Commander. “The Pathway to Housing program is helping to restore hope to these families and break the cycle of poverty.”

With the program providing a year’s worth of rent, up to $10,000, it should make it possible for participants in the program to save what they would have spent on rent for a down payment, something that Amanda Wilkerson said she just couldn’t come up with, “It’s a great opportunity and we’ll have financial literacy training, which is very good for me. I did everything right. I got my education and everything like that, but if I knew how to become homeowner, I would be one right now. I thank God for this opportunity. As a single working adult, I can still own the American Dream.”

Wilkerson is a University of Central Florida assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Higher Education.

The Pathway to Housing program is being funded by Osceola County through Commissioner Choudhry’s $500,000 county betterment funds, the Salvation Army of Osceola County, a $50,000 Walmart donation, and Homes 4 All’s support.