Virginia Watt - Mercy Loan FundVirginia Watt

Resident Story from Mercy Housing Portfolio Services
Chicago, Illinois

Virginia Watt never thought that she would realize the dream of homeownership. A native Chicagoan, Virginia has been working as a forklift operator with Graham Packaging for 33 years. She wanted to provide more space for her family, but wasn’t sure she could afford a home.

Thanks to Mercy Portfolio Services (MPS) and Chicago’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program, Virginia was able to make her dream a reality by purchasing a 2,250 square foot, 2-unit greystone for $145,000. Vacant, dilapidated and uninhabitable following a 2008 foreclosure, MPS acquired and rescued this property with the help of the Community Male Empowerment Project (CMEP), a local developer employing ex-offenders and hard-to-reach youth. MPS and CMEP restored the property through extensive repairs, created 20 jobs and helped stabilize the neighborhood.

“I never thought I could buy a home and look at me now,” said Virginia. “Everything was made available to me to make this dream a reality. I really appreciate the opportunity I was given.”

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