Chhaya CDC's Homeownership Success: Narbada Chhetri
Narbada Chhetri thought homeownership was beyond her reach. A native of Nepal, she moved to Queens in 2006. For a decade, she lived in apartments, frustrated that her rent payments were not helping her build equity or create wealth.
As a single mom, she had a dream to leave her daughter something after her life was over. She also had several obstacles to homeownership including the high price and limited availability of affordable housing units, time constraints and her lack of proficiency in English.
She had obstacles, but she also had Chhaya.
Chhaya CDC was founded in 2000 to advocate for the housing needs of New York City’s South Asian community. Its mission is to work with New Yorkers of South Asian origin to advocate for and build economically stable, sustainable, and thriving communities.
Chhaya encouraged Narbada to attend a homebuyer informational meeting and once she connected with Yangchen Chadotsang, Housing Preservation Program Manager, she began by starting to systematically save money and cut her expenses.
“I had zero knowledge of the homebuying process but I received wonderful support from Yangchen,” said Narbada. “She explained every sentence, every word. She also gave me hope—telling me ‘You can do this!’”
For Narbada, the main challenge was to save money and to find time.
“I cannot find the words for how grateful I am to Chhaya for the help with the process and the grant. The $20,000 grant helped with my downpayment and closing costs. If not for that, I would not have been able to purchase the house.”
Yangchen takes her role as advocate for her clients very seriously. She refers to Narbada as “DiDi” which means “sister” in Nepali.
“She is amazing---she did such a great job. She has a professional background, so she was very well equipped for the process.”
Narbada is now happily settled in her Jackson Heights home.
“When I entered my new home, I truly felt like a success. I have sent lots of people to the Chhaya homebuyer program. I tell people all the time: ‘You can fulfill your dreams too. Everything is possible if you put your heart and soul into it! I am really grateful to Chhaya--otherwise I would not be a homeowner.”