Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

City Welcomes First Foreclosure Home Buyer

 Members of the Perris City staff who worked with Bryant to make the move possible. (Left to right) Darren Madkin, Sabrina Chavez, Sara Cortes-Diaz, Anthony Perez and Rebecca Miranda.
Members of the Perris City staff who worked with Bryant to make the move possible. (Left to right) Darren Madkin,
Sabrina Chavez, Sara Cortes-Diaz, Anthony Perez and Rebecca Miranda
Erica Bryant outside her new home in Perris. “I’m loving life,” she says after moving to the City
Erica Bryant outside her new home in Perris. “I’m loving life,” she says after moving to the City.

Six months ago, the house on Buttonbush Lane was an eyesore that attracted vandals, lowered surrounding property values and diminished the quality of life along the entire street.

The carpets were trashed, the appliances ruined, graffiti covered the walls and an illegal room addition meant the residence was in violation of Perris building codes.

Then the City of Perris purchased the property, spent nearly $50,000 to renovate it and provided first-time homebuyer Erica Bryant about $14,000 in down payment and closing-costs assistance. This week, a contingent of Perris city officials led by City Manager Richard Belmudez and Deputy City Manager Darren Madkin welcomed Bryant into what is essentially a brand new home.

Bryant became the first person to take advantage of Perris’ Foreclosure Home Ownership Program, an innovative approach aimed at transforming distressed and vacant properties into in-demand homes—and at the same time stabilizing neighborhoods affected by the ongoing foreclosure crisis.

City Manager Richard Belmudez presents Bryant with a housewarming basket. Bryant became the first person to take advantage of the City’s Foreclosure Home Ownership Program
City Manager Richard Belmudez presents Bryant with a housewarming basket. Bryant became the first person to take advantage of the City’s Foreclosure Home Ownership Program.

The Perris City Council set aside $2 million last year to purchase and rehabilitate at least 20 houses. Five additional residences have closed or should close escrow in the next few weeks. Money for the program comes from dedicated housing funds that must be used in that capacity. No general fund money is used on the program.
Bryant, 41, said she’s ecstatic to call Perris home. It would never have happened, she said, without the help from Perris.

“I love the neighborhood,” she said. “It’s very, very nice. I never thought I would find a home in this area. I still can’t believe it. I look forward to coming home every night and sitting in my house.”

Belmudez presented Bryant with a housewarming gift basket.

“We’re glad to have you in the neighborhood,” he said.

Madkin said the City worked with La Barge Industries to rehab the Buttonbush home. New walls, countertops and appliances were installed. A new energy-efficient air-conditioning system went in. So did new winedows.

“She’s basically getting a new house,” Madkin said.

The property sold for $147,000.

The Foreclosure Home Ownership Program requires applicants meet several criteria.

Buyers must be first-time home buyers who have not owned a home in the last three years. They must meet certain income guidelines, be qualified by a City-approved lender and complete an eight-hour homebuyer education workshop.

Bryant said she’s already making plans for the holidays. Her family told her it would be a great idea to host her relatives for Thanksgiving dinner. No problem, she says.

“I love my space and now I finally have some,” she said. “Sometimes I just sit on my couch and look at my home.

Things have fallen into place and I’m loving life.”

More information about the Foreclosure Home Ownership Program and other City of Perris housing initiatives is available at www.cityofperris.org