There’s nothing quite like the feeling of walking into a new home for the first time. Home ownership is a dream that many Louisiana citizens reach for, but unfortunately, some are unable to attain it. Because of past credit problems or trouble with finances, some families just cannot qualify for a loan.

The state is working to change that and has partnered with Freddie Mac, the LPFA and other non-profit groups to launch the LouLease Program. LouLease is a landmark, lease-purchase home ownership initiative that will help hundreds of Louisiana families with less than perfect credit buy homes.

Here’s how it works. LouLease purchases a home then leases it to an individual for three years while he or she works on resolving outstanding credit issues. If individuals make their lease payments on time and solve their credit problems, they can purchase the home at the end of the lease period. The programs lease-to-own option lets individuals lock in today’s price on the property while having three years to work on their finances.

Since LouLease’s launch in April, there have been 39,000 Louisiana families who have inquired about the program. Approximately 4,800 individuals have already attended 1-hour orientation sessions.

There are currently 1,041 applicants with the LouLease Program, and 120 families are actively looking for homes. To qualify, applicants must show they can afford the monthly expenses of the home and their income cannot exceed 140 percent of the median income for the area. Families must complete an approved home ownership-counseling program prior to their entering the program and must be committed to clearing up delinquent credit obligations.

Families can also call Vision Financial Services for more information or for orientation sessions statewide at 1-866-568-5327. Please be patient with the toll-free number because of the tremendous, positive response to the program.

LouLease is making home ownership a reality for countless Louisiana citizens. Owning a home is now more affordable, especially for those who may have otherwise been unable to qualify for traditional mortgages.