At 75 years old, U.S. Air Force veteran Nelson Yuret never envisioned becoming a homeowner again. On a fixed income of Social Security disability payments and a retirement pension, he assumed he was bound to his 700-square-foot apartment for life.
During his time in the Air Force, 17-year-old Yuret communicated with bombers during the Cold War between 1958 and 1964, giving them supplies for quick pick up. After six years of service and a return to college, Yuret made a life in New York, Puerto Rico and Tennessee before moving to Florida in 2010.
Meanwhile, he developed congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation, which led to two bypass surgeries, 12 stents, a pacemaker and a defibrillator. Due to his ongoing medical condition, he also had to adjust to limited mobility in a motorized wheelchair. With unexpected medical bills and rising rental rates, Yuret had credit issues and faced the possibility of homelessness.
Despite his disability, Yuret's determination prevailed. Through an AARP referral, Yuret found himself at Tampa Bay CDC, where he started working as an administrative specialist and soon learned of the homeowner services offered there.
He shared with staff members at Tampa Bay CDC the challenges he was encountering and they encouraged him to take their HUD-certified homebuyer education class. In June 2016, Yuret gave in and attended the class, realizing that homeownership could be a possibility for him. From there, he worked one on one with a housing counselor to repair his credit and prepare for homeownership while finding down payment assistance.
Through a partner lender, Yuret was pre-approved for a mortgage and secured down payment assistance through Pasco County Community Development. Additional funds were obtained through the state bond program.
Now that he had the funds, he began his search and quickly found a home through Tampa Bay CDC's rehabilitation program. This was a special house for Tampa Bay CDC, since it is the 550th property it has redeveloped. Yuret's new home had recently been acquired by Tampa Bay CDC as a vacant building, with countless repairs needed to be brought up to code. With the help of the county's Pasco Opportunity Program, the necessary repairs were made, including the installation of weatherproof windows and doors, replacement of old appliances and the bathrooms, and installation of a new water heater and heating and cooling unit.
On July 20, Yuret finally closed on his home and no longer has to worry about unexpected increases in living expenses. The Veterans Administration will install ramps for his wheelchair, and Yuret can then move restriction in his open-floor-plan home. His oversized car garage offers him room for his van and lift gate to operate without limitations.
Now that Yuret is all moved in and mostly unpacked, Yuret is happy to be home, as he says, "'til the end of time."