Supporting First Time Home Ownership

with Partner CHSA


hen COVID spurred an increase in demand for housing, home prices skyrocketed, disproportionately affecting black and brown people who have historically faced limited access to stable, high-quality housing.

As Galvan pursues cultural initiatives and construction in Savannah, one challenge we face is how we can best empower current residents, especially those who are low-income, to stay rooted for the long-term and contribute to their community’s growth. In addition to increasing housing stock, supporting home repairs, and advocating for equitable policy, one pathway is through first time home ownership. This is a major part of what our collaboration with local nonprofit CHSA (Community Housing Services Agency) supports.

Portrait of Anita Smith-Dixon

“When you have secure housing you can focus on other things in life like your education. It stabilizes families.”

Anita Smith-Dixon, Executive Director of CHSA

Ms. Smith-Dixon, Executive Director of CHSA, explains that many first-time home buyers feel “unqualified or unworthy of home ownership,” and much of her career has been dedicated to breaking this cycle. Educating and assisting new homebuyers helps create generational, economic wealth, and a knowledge of the required steps that is disseminated among new owners to their communities.

“When you’re at that closing table and handing them that key, the flood of emotion that you get to see on their faces is indescribable. Everything they’ve gone through to ‘I made it.’”

Anita Smith-Dixon and Alison Goldey, Director at Chatham Savannah Land Bank Authority