Born in South Dallas, Erica Parker refers to her hometown as her village.
In 2012, Parker’s mom settled in a home in South Dallas. Soon after, her best friend followed suit and purchased a home in South Dallas — through SouthFair’s Homeownership Program. But it doesn’t end there, because her best friend’s mom also landed on a SouthFair-built home!
And now, Erica Parker is the new owner of SouthFair’s latest addition to the Fair Park neighborhood – a 1725 square foot, 4 bedroom, 3 ½ bath, 2 car garage home!
After spending much time all over Texas, and some time in Kansas, Parker decided it was time to move out of the one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment she shared with her son. When she began the search for a perfect home, on her list of requirements were essentials she knew were necessary to maintain longevity. “When I started the home search, I compared it to a car.” Parker used the illustration of purchasing a used car and then having to deal with used-car problems. Parker’s opinion was very clear: “You don’t want to deal with that with homes.” So, as she sought after her upgrade, she came across a pleasant surprise. SouthFair, had already been constructing homes that would be ready to move into in February of 2021.
Over the last 30 years, SouthFair has been the backbone of people-first-housing and economic development for low to moderate-income families in the South Dallas/Fair Park area. In 2020, they fought through the hurdles the pandemic presented to build three market-rate homes. When Ms. Parker made the phone call to SouthFair in November, she wasn’t 100% sure what to expect but trusted that since her family and friends had made the decision to enter SouthFair’s Homeownership Program, she, too would be in good hands.
Erica recalls the day she signed, and the home became hers. “Ms. Mary Ann and Ms. Evans were really accommodating and helpful with the process.” Parker, who came into the process pre-approved, praised SouthFair, saying “I got support from the team.” Being a first-time homeowner, Erica Parker didn’t have much to compare the homebuying process to, but states that she felt like “a part of the community and not just a customer.” This community is now very personal to her.
With this newfound excitement of being a stakeholder in the community, her optimism for growing equity and generational wealth became a staple in the conversation. “As a renter, you don’t have the same amount of ownership or care to follow through on a long-term investment. The equity and compound interest that comes with the decision to buy a house – as you purchase things that add value to your home – you are more conscious of the decisions you make. When you’re at an apartment, unless the community has that in place, you don’t take that into consideration. Having a stable community that I recognize and am familiar with – as well as my son – is important in establishing a legacy.” Erica is also looking forward to utilizing the resources around her to enhance the sense of culture. Recalling a statement from a friend, Parker refers to her new neighborhood, at the corner of Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, as the “the most culturally relevant intersection for black people in the city.” She continues to rave about the location, saying “We have so much richness in the area. Downtown is so close too.” And she goes on to express her excitement to build her life as the city continues its efforts to develop South Dallas.
With her best friend, best friend’s mom, and her own mother within a 5-minute radius, Parker is settling into the neighborhood. She received warm greetings from the community who compliment her with a thumbs up when they drive by. The appreciation for accountability is evident in Fair Park. And with a new beginning and bright future ahead, Erica Parker’s new title as a homeowner is just the beginning of an exciting journey!