The best way to do this would be to convert your duplex to condo's. You should get a real estate lawyer and title company involved to do so. You'll actually need to set up a condo association to make it legit. This was a popular method about 4 or 5 years ago. Although, lately it's been harder to get financing on half duplex condos. The lenders typically require some money in association reserves. It's definitely worth looking into though.
I'm sorry to be so late to this answer, but yes you can get a home loan with poor credit. You just need to use a lender that does manual underwriting. They will look at you the person, instead of your credit score. They take time at current residence, job history and time at current job, and your rent payment history. If you have been at the same address more than 2 years and have paid your rent on time, plus have at least two years in your current field and a solid work history then you will be able to get a home loan. I know several lenders that work with manual underwriting. If you still need help let me know. Again, I'm sorry to be so late to the party here.
Realty Executives of Kansas City
Leawood, KS 66211