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It Is #GivingTuesday

 It is Giving Tuesday.  

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

To give to HOME, Inc. visit our website.

HOME Inc. Now Accepting Credit Card Donations

We are happy to announce we can now accept credit card donations!

It's easier than ever for you to help families in Des Moines find a place to call home. With just a few simple keystrokes, your donation will assist individuals and families obtain decent, affordable housing, providing stability that the whole family and community benefit from. HOME Inc. also provides rental and home ownership counseling and education.

To donate, simply click here to use our secure payment system.

HOME Inc. is a tax-exempt organization. 

Credit Scores Below 640 All But Eliminated from the Mortgage Market

Want to know why the dream of owning a home is out of reach for an increasing number of Americans?

A large number of financial institutions are unwilling to take a chance and extend credit to those who have a credit score under 640.  The reality, however, is that many won’t even consider a number under 680.

A recent blog in the Washington Post titled “A top mortgage industry executive explains why banks don’t want to take a chance on some borrowers” has a chart that makes it clear that access to credit is running at roughly one quarter of the pre-housing bubble rate of 2004.

What does that mean?  It means credit is available for those with high credit scores and the ability to make a large down payment.  This is not the group we serve.

With this reality our programs that help people understand how to build their credit scores and balance their finances to include a mortgage become more critical.  It also means we have more and more people in need of our help.

And we help is what we provide.

Through our counseling program, we help prospective homeowners determine if they are ready to purchase, and develop a plan to do so.  While it may not happen as fast as everyone would like, we are finding ways to get our clients above the magic number and achieve the dream of owning their own home.

If you know of someone who can benefit from our homeownership programs, we can be reached at 515-243-1277or

Bringing the Idea of Home Back in Reach

This summer there have been an awful lot of conversations about wages, housing prices, renting and homeownership.  Every once in awhile there is a glimmer of hope that we making headway. 

And then.

And then, we come across studies such as the National Low Income Housing Coalition annual Out of Reach study that makes it clear that not only is homeownership is out of reach for an increasing number of Americans, but also the ability to rent a place to call home.

“In the United States, the 2014 two-bedroom Housing Wage is $18.92. Thisnational average is more than two-and-a-half times the federal minimum wage,and 52% higher than it was in 2000. In no state can a full-time minimumwage worker afford a one-bedroom or a two-bedroom rental unit at Fair MarketRent.”  Out of Reach 2014

The emphasis was added because it is noteworthy that this is an issue even here in Iowa. We have known for some time that rental opportunities are slipping away for an increasing number of people.  But it isn’t just rental, when people struggle to rent, it stagnates homeownership.  That’s why we are committed to:

  • Reviewing our services to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our clients.  This includes programs such as the HOME Inc. education courses and online training.
  • Reaching out to younger clients who are struggling with balancing normal household expenses with student debt.
  • Working with other community organizations to develop both affordable rental and homeownership projects.

This is a topic that we’ll revisit from time to time.  We’ll update you on our activities, and hopefully we’ll be able to report that at least one state has figured out how to bring home within reach.