The home on Piedmont Pointe Drive, off Pleasant Hill Road, offers her family the stability it has lacked in the past six years.
“My children and I are excited about moving in and enjoying our new home,” said Cabey, who was scheduled to close on the house on March 22. “I am looking forward to living in a nice and safe environment.”
The $143,000 house features a large kitchen, formal dining room, office, living room and dining room and family room downstairs, and a cavernous master suite.
The single mother of three survived a long trek from the brink of despair to reach that happy moment.
Double tragedy in 2007
Rewind to 2007. Cabey and her children were driving from Florida to Atlanta on I-95 when a car crash claimed the life of one of her twin daughters.
Four days later, Cabey’s husband, Keith, was killed in a car accident while en route to their daughter’s funeral.
Immediately following that double tragedy, Cabey moved to Stone Mountain to be near her parents. For the next four years during the height of the housing bust, she rented several homes, all of which went into foreclosure, forcing the family to move repeatedly and causing them to lose thousands of dollars in deposit money.
“It was not easy for me, but I knew that with my faith in God I could overcome all obstacles,” she said Wednesday. “So I moved forward and decided I wanted to purchase a home.”
Cabey and real estate agent Jewel Culton looked at several houses and signed contracts, but the deals fell through.
Her luck began to turn in 2012 when she found the house on Piedmont Pointe. But more importantly, she qualified for assistance that made the purchase possible.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, helps qualified low- and middle-income buyers like Cabey make down payments on foreclosed or abandoned homes and it sends millions of dollars in grants to DeKalb and other counties across the United States who administer the funds on the local level.
NSP, which began in 2008 under the Bush administration and was later funded under President Barack Obama, stabilizes neighborhoods hit hard by foreclosures and abandoned houses that lead to crime and blight.
In 2010, builders caught in the housing bubble and credit crunch that followed walked away from the Piedmont Pointe subdivision before finishing it. Some of the houses had been completed, others were partially built. The completed homes needed to be rehabbed after sitting vacant for three years.
In June 2011, DeKalb County found a partner in Atlanta-based APD Solutions. It works with DeKalb Housing and Community Development to restore communities throughout the county using the federal funds from NSP.
DeKalb Commissioner Stan Watson said that APD Solutions has been in the forefront in community development around the country.
“They’ve been an important cog in the wheel here in DeKalb helping to stabilize Hidden Hills and other neighborhoods,” said Watson, who represents Super District 7.
District 5 Commissioner Lee May, who represents Piedmont Pointe with Watson, said it takes unique partnerships to create desirable communities.
“Through this economy over the past five or six years, we know that people have been struggling to maintain their homes and we know that the foreclosure issue has skyrocketed,” he said.
DeKalb County, which is ranked second in foreclosures in the state behind Gwinnett County, had 958 foreclosures through February. Gwinnett had 1,058 foreclosures so far this year. Still the DeKalb number represents a sharp drop from February 2012 when it had 1,483 foreclosures. The county ended 2012 with 14,713 homes in default.
“So DeKalb has stemmed the rate of foreclosures through these efforts and we worked with the state Legislature to create the county’s foreclosure registry to track and rehab the number of foreclosures that are owned by banks,” Watson said.
APD Solutions has finished rehabbing six new homes in Piedmont Pointe that meet the requirements of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, according to a company release. And it is planning to build as many as 15 new homes over the next 12 to 18 months.
Vaughn Irons, APD Solutions’ chief executive officer, said working in DeKalb is a good fit for him.
“We are pleased to lead efforts in restoring communities throughout the country, and especially in DeKalb because I live in this county,” said Irons, who lives in Lithonia.
Cabey, a full-time student, got a $25,000 award from DeKalb’s NSP fund for a down payment that made her purchase possible.
She qualified for a mortgage using one of the DeKalb NSP’s preferred lenders. She’ll use retirement income from her job at a foster care agency and monthly disability payments to cover the mortgage. Her income can’t exceed $86,150 for her family of four. The purchase price cannot exceed $160,000. And she had to complete an eight-hour home buyer education course from a HUD-approved counseling agency.
Cabey says she is looking forward to her new home’s abundant space, including the downstairs office that could be converted to a bedroom for her special needs daughter who has Angelman syndrome, a neuro-genetic disorder.
“It’s just a great opportunity for me to become a homeowner and have a stable environment for my children,” she said. “That’s what’s most important to me right now. It’s not easy. You have to be persistent in the process, but this program works.”
For more information, call 404-921-3131.