Million dollar program offers key to homeownership

A $5,000 grant from the South Carolina Realtors Association helped make Jennifer Pilat a homeowner.

There is a chance for educators and first responders to live the American dream.

"I'm a homeowner, third year teacher," said Jennifer Pilat. "I've been in my house for two years."

A $5,000 grant from the South Carolina Realtors Association helped make that possible for Jennifer Pilat. The High School teacher says the money eased her transition to homeownership.

"As a teacher--especially a first year teacher--saving up for a down payment for a house isn't feasible," said Pilat.

"It allows people that are important to the fabric of our communities, be it our teachers, our first responders, to live in the community where they work," said SC State Housing Executive Director Valerie Williams.

Williams says the "Palmetto Heroes" program helps people with modest incomes live out big dreams.

South Carolina educational officials hope the program will attract high quality teachers to the state, and keep the one's they already have.

"I didn't have intentions on moving away," said Pilat. "But to be able to be a homeowner and to have something to call my own, really helps with morale."

For Jennifer Pilat, the program is key to keeping the American dream alive.