Jocelyn Jordan and her 10 siblings were raised in a house on Green Street in the historic Hard Bargain neighborhood of Franklin. Her father, a stonemason by trade, used recycled materials to build a rental house next door to assist with the family’s finances.
Years later, Jordan inherited that rental home where she resided until 2010 when it was rendered uninhabitable from damage caused by the May flood.
Jordan has lived in Franklin public housing for the past seven years while faithfully continuing to pay her mortgage every month on her uninhabitable Green Street home.
She heard about the Critical Repair program of Habitat for Humanity Williamson-Maury (HFHWM), which is designed to assist homeowners in need of repairs that are beyond their financial and physical capabilities. She applied for assistance, but her home needed repairs far beyond the scope of the program.
Jordan was transferred to the organization’s homeownership program.
Applicants to this program are selected based on three criteria: the need for affordable housing, the ability to pay the mortgage and the willingness to partner with HFHWM.
Partner families must complete a homebuyer’s education program and earn at least 200 hours of "sweat equity" by working on their home and the homes of others. HFHWM sells the homes to the families with an affordable mortgage.
Jordan was chosen for the 2017 Fall Franklin Build in which area churches and organizations raised $70,000 for the project. Sponsors include Brentwood United Methodist Church, Fourth Avenue Church of Christ, Franklin Christian Church, Holy Family Catholic Church, Middle TN Electric Cooperative, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, St. Matthew Catholic Church, St. Philip Catholic Church, and Knights of Columbus – St. Philip Council 7764.
In August, Jordan’s unsalvageable home was completely razed.
Jocelyn Jordan, alongside volunteers from the sponsor churches, began construction on her new home on Oct. 14. The 1150-square-foot home will have three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Construction will continue throughout the fall.
“The Hard Bargain neighborhood has such history for my family. I have made many wonderful memories on this street and in this neighborhood. The thought of returning warms my heart. This is my home and I know every person, in every house on this street. There is no place I would rather be,” Jordan said. “I am so thankful to my sponsors. There are no words to express how I feel to be returning home, after all these years. God Bless you.”
Prior to retirement, Jordan was employed with the National Council on Aging. She has four adult children and six grandchildren and attends First Missionary Baptist Church in Franklin.
Jordan will be given the keys to her brand new home at a dedication ceremony that is scheduled for 4 p.m. Feb. 2.
HFHWM does not receive funding from Habitat for Humanity International. There are about 50 Habitat affiliates in Tennessee and each one is self-sustaining. HFHWM solely relies on partnerships within the Williamson/Maury communities to build homes for local families in need. For more information about its homeownership program, volunteering or sponsorship opportunities, visit www.hfhwm.org.