Earlier this year, Daniel Quills feared that she and her children would have to move. The Canadian investor, who owns a five-bedroom apartment on the east side of Cleveland, plans to sell the property.

But the quills have not been displaced. Instead, she bought the house with the help of a new mortgage product aimed at a relatively small amount of debt.

The 24-year-old, who began working as a nursing assistant at Cleveland Clinic a few years ago and is currently pursuing a degree in business administration, said: “It shows people that I have missed opportunities.” I was a teenager. I dropped out of college, I was on government assistance.

Quars was one of the first recipients of a loan from CHN Housing Capital, a partner of CHN Housing Partners. Cleveland-based nonprofit has been expanding its toolbox in an effort to make home buying more widely available and sustainable.

CHN Housing Capital can raise loans from $ 20,000 to $ 250,000, but the sweet spot of the program is a $ 70,000 or less loan — called a small dollar debt.

Since the launch in early April, CHN Housing Capital has received more than 500 requests from potential home buyers. Thirteen customers have been closed or are about to close. And 35 applicants are eligible for a loan but still need housing.

The 30-year-old fixed-rate loans are available in the districts of Kuyahoga and Lorraine. Although low-income borrowers can tap into prepaid assistance programs to withdraw these funds, buyers must have at least 570 credit scores and at least 3% lower the purchase price.

CHN Housing Capital does not require borrowers to pay for private mortgage insurance, which increases the cost of a home loan to buyers without much money.

“What we want to do with this product is to make them believe that ownership is possible,” said CHN CEO Kevin Noak.

Prior to working with a loan officer at CHN, he was unsure if he would own a home – even with a purchase price of $ 57,000. Despite saving to lower wages and working to increase the credit score, the Federal Housing Administration has for the first time rejected the buyer’s insurance policy.

Through CHN, Quartz found out that a private fundraising program for certain university club-area employees was eligible for a great club lifestyle. As a homemaker in Glenville, near Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, she received an interest-free loan of $ 30,000. If she stays in the house for five years and works for a participating employer until mid-2026, she does not have to pay that amount.

Separately, Quars has withdrawn $ 26,790 from a faith mortgage from CHN. She said she only paid $ 285 at the closing. The monthly mortgage payment, including taxes and insurance, is $ 292 – $ 750 a month as a tenant.

“I have a chance to live comfortably,” said Quars, who recently took children, 7-year-old Latis and 3-year-old Drian Jr. on a first-floor floor. To Florida. I don’t have to have a paycheck for payroll, and now I can do a lot of activities with my kids. The burden is lifted off me.

Homeowners argue that small dollar loans are an important tool for stabilizing neighborhoods and building wealth in northeastern Ohio and still have many cheap homes — but they are a major financial and educational barrier to ownership.

Tenants like Quarles are not just saving money as buyers. Under a series of asset managers, moving from one remote investor to the next helps older homes often fight the stress cycle in communities where they change hands.

In June, 66-year-old Shirley Jones and her family used a faith mortgage to buy a four-bedroom apartment in the Cleveland Mountains. She previously paid $ 61,900 for a cottage owned by a Texas-based limited liability company.

Jones and Leon Donte and his daughter-in-law Taisha pay $ 850 a month. They have $ 460 a month on mortgages. But they decided to pay the principal $ 390 a month and pay $ 850.

“It’s better to pay for yourself than anyone else,” says 39-year-old home health worker Taisha Jones.

Industry experts point to debt consolidation and banking regulations as obstacles for low-dollar borrowers, as well as evaluation tests and competition from low-cost investors.

“Loan-based costs are largely adjusted and reimbursed,” say researchers from the Institute of Urban Institutions in Washington, DC. Small loans distribute, distribute, and generate low sales prices, making them less attractive to lenders.

Since 2010, CHN Housing Partners have been lending small loans, particularly between $ 10,000 and $ 15,000, to low-income families who have the opportunity to rent and build new homes for low-income families over the next 15 years. .

It will expand to more than 2,200 homes developed by CHN. CHN uses charitable funds to cover housing capital costs. The lender sells the loan to banks that want to hold the loan – generating cash to make additional loans.

Huntington Bank is still the sole buyer, but CHN is in talks with other investors.

“We hope to build more than 100 loans a year,” said Nokwak.

Borrowers must first complete a home purchase before closing. You will also receive other CHN programs and services, including home repair loans of up to $ 8,000.

“I think this is a really important program, especially when it comes to purchasing support, financial literacy and other things,” said Frank Ford, a housing policy researcher in Kuyahoga County.

But Ford said, “I am not sure if a non-profit organization will be able to meet the demand in the eastern part of Cleveland and in the eastern suburbs.