A mother of three is a homeowner for the first time thanks to a city program offering affordable homeownership to first time buyers. 

The city's "Neighborhoods First Initiative" restores vacant and distressed properties and offers them at a greatly reduced price so individuals from the city can enjoy the treasures of owning a home of their own.

Cerissa Correia was the winner of Tuesday's drawing for the property at 36 Jireh St., located near the new Acushnet Sawmill nature trail and Jireh Swift Elementary School.

"I'm truly excited," Correia said shortly after her name was announced. "This is crazy."

Officials such as Mayor Jon Mitchell noted the significance of homeownership, calling it "the most fundamental right of the American Dream."

Multiple local and state organizations play a role in the program, including PACE Community Housing Corporation which purchased the property and conducted the renovations through the help of volunteers through PACE YouthBuild.

Financing is available to participants through MassHousing's "Buy New Bedford" Mortgage Program and, in this case, Southern Mass Credit Union.

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