At 75 years old, U.S. Air Force Veteran Nelson Yuret, never envisioned becoming a homeowner again. On a fixed income of Social Security Disability and a retirement pension, he assumed he was bound to his 700 square ft apartment for life.

During his time in the Air Force, 17-year-old Yuret served in the area where jets landed and communicated with bombers, giving them supplies for quick pick up during the Cold War between 1958-1964. After six years of service and going back to college, Yuret worked and lived in New York, Puerto Rico, and Tennessee before moving to Florida in 2010.

In 1986, Yuret developed congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation which lead to two bypass surgeries, 12 stints, a pacemaker and a defibrillator. Due to his ongoing medical condition, he also had to adjust to limited mobility in a motorized wheelchair. With unexpected medical bills and rising rental rates, Yuret now had credit issues and faced the possibility of homelessness.

Despite his disability, Yuret’s determination always prevailed. Through AARP, Yuret found himself at Tampa Bay CDC where he started working as an administrative specialist and soon learned of the homeowner services offered there.

He started to share the challenges he was encountering with staff members at Tampa Bay CDC and they encouraged him to take their HUD-certified homebuyer education class. In June of 2016, Yuret gave in and attended the class, realizing that home ownership could be a possibility for him. From there, he worked one-on-one with a housing counselor to repair his credit and prepare for homeownership while finding down payment assistance available to him.

Through a partner lender, Yuret was pre-approved for a mortgage and secured down payment assistance through Pasco County Community Development and additional funds through the state bond program.

Now that he had the funds, he began his search and quickly found a home through Tampa Bay CDC’s rehabilitation program. This was a special home for Tampa Bay CDC, as it was the 550th property that had been redeveloped. Yuret’s new home had recently been acquired by Tampa Bay CDC as a vacant home with countless repairs needed to be brought up to code. With the help of Pasco County’s “Pasco Opportunity Program” (POP), the necessary repairs were made, installing weatherproof windows and doors, replacing old appliances, installing a new heating and cooling unit, and so much more.

On July 20, Yuret finally closed on his home and no longer has to worry about unexpected rises in living expenses. The Veterans Administration will be installing ramps for his wheelchair, and Yuret can move about without restriction in his open floor plan home. His oversized one car garage offers him room for his van and lift gate to operate without limitations.

Yuret had simplistic taste and has asked for nothing other than “one of those refrigerators with the freezer on the bottom.” Now that Yuret is all moved in and mostly unpacked, he is happy to be home, as he says, “till the end of time.”