Community activist achieves dream of homeownership

April 21, 2021

Columbus resident Amber Broadus is passionate about helping her community. Here’s her story of facing challenges head on to become a homeowner with help from Habitat for Humanity.

 

With the titles of “mother” and “activist” already established, Amber Broadus, of Columbus, Ohio, has now added “homeowner” to her list of accomplishments. The 36-year-old single mother of four has been successfully balancing her family and passion for helping others, and recently teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to achieve a new financial goal.

As someone deeply invested in her community through volunteer work, Amber works with a number of local partners to help kids and families stay active and engaged during COVID-19. She also manages a local food produce drive. “I’m one of the lead managers and it’s really fun. We have so much high energy that the people who come through just absolutely adore us. We can’t do it without our volunteers,” she says.

While Amber was making a difference in her local community, she became driven to establish a solid foundation for herself and her family as well. “I found myself really wanting to own a home as my income started to increase,” says Amber. “I had a Section 8 voucher, so my mentor told me I needed to try Habitat for Humanity.”


Since its founding in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has become a global force for positive change. The nonprofit organization is present across the U.S., along with 70 additional countries, developing better housing for people in need. As part of its mission, Habitat aims to teach lifelong skills that will allow its program participants to create a sense of stability. In acquiring their property, homeowners pay an affordable mortgage and work side-by-side with volunteers to build their homes.

U.S. Bank has supported Habitat’s mission for more than 30 years through philanthropic grants, investments and employee volunteerism. Between charitable contributions and investments, U.S. Bank has provided more than $125 million to local Habitat for Humanity affiliates, helping build and renovate thousands of homes.

When Amber applied to purchase a home through Habitat for Humanity, her application was initially denied, but she remained hopeful and determined to continue working toward her goal. She used her savings to pay off some outstanding debt, and within a week, she was on the road to success. “I worked on exactly what I was told I needed to work on, and then I was accepted into the program, and I was ready to own a home. I’m just one of those people with grit and resilience, and I don’t stop when I ask for something.”

In addition to her personal drive, the resources Amber found through Habitat for Humanity provided support with the down payments and a voucher that offer assistance on mortgage payments for a year. She also participated in “sweat equity,” which is the process of dedicating hours toward helping with the build and educational workshops. These can be completed or donated by multiple people working together. “I dedicate my Saturdays to work on the house,” she explains. “I got the chance to bounce to other people’s homes and help with their hours and homes too.”

Through a financial literacy course through Habitat for Humanity, Amber learned to make the most of tax credits that she qualifies for.  The course helped her learn how to update her W-2 forms so that she would receive a bit more take-home pay in her paycheck every two weeks, instead of as a lump sum after filing taxes. She says this change made the difference between needing to find a part-time job or not. She also says she learned a lot about the process of buying and owning a home through a home ownership course as part of the program. “Habitat literally walks you through the entire process,” she says.

Amber has put so much energy and hard work into home ownership, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. “While all this was going on, I was just like, ‘wow this is really happening,’” she says. “It gave me more confidence, more clarity, and the fact that I was able to purchase a home – now I am literally giving my children something that they can have, that we can build wealth from.”

In fact, she’s even encouraging others to apply for the same program. “I want more people, especially women that have been in my shoes, to have this experience. There are some single moms that aren’t living in their own homes, so the support that they get, and their family, is great. I just want other women to experience what I’ve experienced.”

Looking ahead, Amber plans to continue helping others any way she can, citing her mother as her inspiration for helping those in need. “A lot of people need support and need help,” she says. “I’m just being me, helping the community.”

 

See more stories about doing real good and making a difference where it matters.

Related content

Investment strategies by age

7 ways for pre-retirees to get ready for retirement

Year-end financial checklist

How to use debt to build wealth

How to manage your money: 6 steps to take

How to discuss money with your family

6 common money mistakes to avoid

Key components of a financial plan

5 financial goals for the new year

4 tips to help you save for retirement in your 20s

Checklist: 10 questions to ask your home inspector

5 things to consider when deciding to take an unplanned trip

30-day adulting challenge: Financial wellness tasks to complete in a month

5 reasons why couples may have separate bank accounts

7 steps: How couples and single parents can prepare for child care costs

9 simple ways to save

A who’s who at your local bank

Adulting 101: How to make a budget plan

Allowance basics for parents and kids

Are savings bonds still a thing?

Certificates of deposit: How they work to grow your money

Dear Money Mentor: How do I set and track financial goals?

Finding a side gig to fund your goals

Friction How it can help achieve money goals

Growing your savings by going on a ‘money hunt’

Helpful tips for safe and smart charitable giving

What you need to know about renting

Here’s how to create a budget for yourself

How and when to ask for a raise

How having savings gives you peace of mind

How to save for a wedding

How to save money while helping the environment

How to set yourself up for success in your first job

How to stay positive when searching for a job: advice from a U.S. Bank goals coach

It's possible: 7 tips for breaking the spending cycle

Personal loans first-timer's guide: 7 questions to ask

Stay committed goals creating positive habits

Tips to overcome three common savings hurdles

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Wedding

What military service taught me about money management

Working with an accountability partner can help you reach your goals

Building a financial legacy for your family and community

How to stop living paycheck to paycheck post-pay increase

It’s time for a fresh start: A new way of thinking

Money Moments: 8 dos and don’ts for saving money in your 30s

Bank from home with these digital features

What’s in your emergency fund?

How I did it: Bought my dream home using equity

Buying a home Q&A: What made three homeowners fall in love with their new home

Starting your homebuying journey: Tips from a U.S. Bank Goals Coach

How I did it: Built living spaces to support my family

Saving for a down payment: Where should I keep my money?

Your guide to breaking the rental cycle

Checklist: 6 to-dos for after a move

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Building a home

How I did it: Bought a home without a 20 percent down payment

4 ways to free up your budget (and your life) with a smaller home

Get more home for your money with these tips

Money Moments: Tips for selling your home

How I did it: My house remodel

Are professional movers worth the cost?

How you can take advantage of low mortgage rates

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Home renovation

The lowdown on 6 myths about buying a home

Preparing for homeownership: A guide for LGBTQ+ homebuyers

What to know when buying a home with your significant other

First-time homebuyer’s guide to getting a mortgage

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How much house can you afford?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Buying or renting – What’s right for you?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Prequalification or pre-approval – What do I need?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: How does your credit score impact the homebuying experience?

Webinar: Mortgage basics: Finding the right home loan for you

Webinar: Mortgage basics: 3 Key steps in the homebuying process

8 steps to take before you buy a home

How do I prequalify for a mortgage?

6 questions to ask before buying a new home

How to Adult: 7 tax terms and concepts you should know

11 essential things to do before baby comes

Webinar: Uncover the cost: Starting a family

Preparing for adoption and IVF

Closing on a house checklist for buyers

How to prepare for a natural disaster

Checklist: financial recovery after a natural disaster

Webinar: Uncover the cost: College diploma

Checklist: How to gain financial independence from your parents

The A to Z’s of college loan terms

Co-signing 101: Applying for a loan with co-borrower

Practical money skills and financial tips for college students

How to build credit as a student

5 things to know before accepting a first job offer

How I did it: Paid off student loans

Webinar: Bank Notes: College cost comparison

How to talk to your lender about debt

Know your debt-to-income ratio

How to use your unexpected windfall to reach financial goals

Is a home equity loan for college the right choice for your student

How to apply for federal student aid through the FAFSA

Be careful when taking out student loans

Parent checklist: Preparing for college

Your financial aid guide: What are your options?

Bringing economic opportunity to underserved communities one home at a time

Community activist achieves dream of homeownership

Military homeownership: Your guide to resources, financing and more

For today's homebuyers, time and money are everything

Crypto + Homebuying: Impacts on the real estate market

Webinar: Buying a home in 2022: what to expect

Webinar: Mindset Matters: How to practice mindful spending

Webinar: Smart habits and behaviors to achieve financial wellness

How running a business that aligns with core values is paying off

Meet the Milwaukee businessman behind Funky Fresh Spring Rolls

How I did it: Turned my side hustle into a full-time job

How to get started creating your business plan

Talent acquisition 101: Building a small business dream team

Make your business legit

7 tips to help grow your business after launch

How to test new business ideas

3 simple brand awareness tips for your business

5 principles for avoiding ethics pitfalls on social media

How Lip Esteem is empowering women

When small business and community work together

Community behind Elsa’s House of Sleep

How a family-owned newspaper is serving its community

How Gentlemen Cuts helps its community shine

How tenacity brought Taste of Rondo to life

How community gave life to lifestyle boutique Les Sol

How Shampoo’ed is transforming hair and inspiring entrepreneurs

The business behind environmental sustainability

5 ways to build your business through community engagement

How this photography business persevered through tough times

Business tips and advice for Black entrepreneurs

Should you buy a house that’s still under construction?

Achieving their dreams through a pre-apprenticeship construction program

Start of disclosure content

Loan approval is subject to credit approval and program guidelines. Not all loan programs are available in all states for all loan amounts. Interest rate and program terms are subject to change without notice. Mortgage, home equity and credit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Deposit products are offered by U.S. Bank National Association. Member FDIC.

U.S. Bank is not responsible for and does not guarantee the products, services or performance of U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc.