A Journey to Homeownership
Jamie Bordelon said he didn’t think he’d ever own a home. Until recently, that goal felt out of reach.
A former general contractor, Jamie’s home remodeling work dwindled during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading him to apply for Alaska Housing Rent Relief and unemployment benefits. Though it wasn’t an easy decision to make, he said it provided him valuable assistance.
“I had a big problem accepting help, but sometimes you have to swallow your pride and ask for it,” he said. “It’s there.”
Ultimately, Jamie and his family benefited from 12 months of rent relief during the height of the pandemic, giving him the breathing room necessary to consider different possibilities for his future.
Jamie's job search led him to Alaska Housing, where he was hired as a maintenance mechanic in September 2021. He now supports AHFC’s mission by helping to keep the organization’s facilities in Anchorage running smoothly, in addition to traveling across the state to assist the Alaska Housing maintenance teams in 16 communities.
"I see a future here and hope to stay here 20 years and retire," Jamie said. "Hopefully one day I'll be a project manager or a lead."
Making a Dream Reality
Having found stability in a new career, Jamie and his wife began considering a goal that had previously felt unattainable – homeownership. Jamie credits AHFC’s no-cost homebuyer education class with helping make their dream a reality.
“We searched for a house for about seven months, and taking the HomeChoice™ class was the most helpful thing we did,” Jamie said.
“We learned so much from that class. We didn’t think it was possible to own a home until we took the class and then we thought, ‘Oh, we can do this.’ I tell everyone I know about it.”
Responses like Jamie’s are why AHFC Outreach Specialist Maude Morse, a long-time HomeChoice™ instructor, describes the class as powerful.
“We help participants see what is possible, that an investment can be empowering,” she said.
In February 2023, less than a year-and-a-half after benefiting from emergency rental assistance, Jamie’s family moved into their own home along with their cat, two dogs and 10 birds, many of them rescue animals.
“The birds have the whole upstairs living room to themselves,” Jamie laughed.
Jamie said he plans to make a few updates to their home over time, but for now his family is simply enjoying settling into their own space. The realization that the home is really theirs is sinking in slowly.
“We’re still in shock,” he said. “It was very surreal, walking through our door with our own keys. We still don’t believe it…we haven’t even unpacked, that’s how much we don’t believe it!”
AHFC Resources for Homebuyers
Thinking of buying a home but not sure where to get started? Here are some valuable resources from Alaska Housing.
Homebuyer Education Courses
In-person HomeChoice™ classes will be regularly available starting in July and webinar sessions are still offered for those who cannot join an in-person class or who prefer to complete the course from the comfort of home. For a full class schedule and to register, visit ahfc.us/events.