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Homebuyer Education, it's our thing!

Buying a house can be stressful, especially understanding the complexities of down payments, credit checks, insurance, etc. But with HOME, Inc.’s Homebuyer Education courses taught by our very own Diana Rezac, it has certainly made this process much more manageable. 

Since HOME, Inc. is HUD-certified and happens to be the only certified agency in Central Iowa, many banks and organizations look to us to provide the counseling and education to their clients.

Curious why HUD Homeownership Certification is worth the investment? The bottom line is that homeowners counseled by HUD-certified agencies are successful. Pre- and post-purchase housing counseling performed by HUD-certified professionals leads to better-performing loans made to better-qualified borrowers in practically every economic class, and stronger communities with healthier economies and far fewer foreclosures.

HOME, Inc.’s eight-hour course, eHome, allows potential homeowners to register, pay, and take the course as their time permits, in their place, and at their pace. Participants may log in and out as many times as necessary.

 Topics covered include:

Are You Ready To Buy A Home
Managing Your Money
Understanding Credit
Getting A Mortgage Loan
Shopping For A Home
Keeping Your Home and Managing Your Finances

Our staff will then monitor these courses and be available for questions.  At the end of the course our counseling staff schedule a one-on-one counseling session with participants. Prior to receiving a certificate of completion, participants speak with a counselor to answer any questions or concerns about homeownership.  

Why is this certification important?  Lenders will often require homeowners below a certain income level to attend a homeownership course as a requirement to qualify for a mortgage.  The e-Home course makes it easy for an individual to meet this requirement.

In 2018-2019 through the collaboration with Wells Fargo and Polk County, HOME, Inc. managed to help close to 600 families. There was 7.6 million dollars dispersed in down payment assistance resulting in 85.1 million dollars invested into homes throughout the year. 

Let that sink in. HOME, Inc. contributed to an $85.1 million investment in our community!

So please, take advantage of our education and/or counseling services and spread the word. The more educated the client, the more successful they will be.

Success Story: All About Kimberly

In 2004, HOME, Inc. was able to help Kimberly. She was able to buy her home with grant money covering 26% of the cost. Her income even grew by 31% once she entered the program. In the time between when HOME Inc. purchased her home and when she bought it, the assessed value has increased by 1,114%. Since she bought the home, the assessed value continued to increased and did by 11%. 

Being a single mom of two, her children were toddlers at the time of home ownership. They are now in their teen years. Both are in school and one even works part time. Owning a home has allowed the kids to have their own space, customize it, and take pride in where they live. They have been able to stay in the same neighborhood throughout their school years. 

From owning a home, the family has been able to build equity. HOME, Inc. was able to educate Kimberly about loans and the homeownership process—creating a more independent lifestyle. Kimberly feels a sense of pride that she was able to afford a home for her family, especially as a single parent. “I still appreciate all the help and support from HOME, Inc. to this day!” HOME, Inc. couldn’t be more proud of all of her hard work and responsibility!  

HOME, Inc. is Hiring!

Program Director Job Description

Founded in 1967 through the efforts of citizens concerned about the lack of decent, affordable housing, Home Opportunities Made Easy, Inc. (HOME, Inc.) is the oldest private, non-profit housing organization in Des Moines.  HOME, Inc. believes that quality, affordable housing provides the foundation that enables people to stabilize and improve their lives.  HOME, Inc.’s mission is to create opportunities for quality affordable housing through the development of affordable housing, revitalizing low-income neighborhoods, counseling individuals and families so they obtain and retain housing, and providing education to tenants and landlords to improve rental relationships.

To provide leadership and overall day-to-day management of housing counseling and education services.

Executive Director

Full-time, exempt

1. Bachelor’s degree in human services, social work, counseling, or related field.
2. At least two years of professional human services experience in a supervisory/program management role.
3. Experience writing and managing grants including goal setting, outcome measurement, and budgeting.
4. Current HUD Housing Counseling certification or ability to obtain certification within 12 months of employment.
5. Strong leadership, problem-solving, communication (verbal and written), and decision-making skills.
6. Good character, integrity, patience, and adaptability.
7. Ability to establish and maintain positive working relationships with staff, program partners, clients, and volunteers.
8. Valid driver license and clean driving record.
9. Ability to work occasional nights and weekends.
10. Proficient with Microsoft Office software. 

1. Advanced degree in human services, social work, counseling, or related field.
2. Knowledge of housing issues, laws, and services in Central Iowa.
3. Knowledge of lending criteria and practices preferred but not required.
4. Experience working with low-income individuals and families, including both short- and long-term case management.
5. Bilingual Spanish/English language proficiency preferred but not required.

Ability to walk, run, stand, sit, kneel, push, stoop, reach above the shoulder, grasp, pull, bend repeatedly, identify colors, hear with aid, see, write, count, read, speak, analyze, alphabetize, lift and carry up to 50 pounds, perceive depth, operate a motor vehicle, and operate motor equipment. Conditions may include working inside and outside for several hours, working around machines with moving parts and moving objects, radiant and electrical energy, working closely with others, working alone, and traveling by car, van, bus, and airplane. Equipment (machines, tools, devices) used in performing the essential functions may include computer and related equipment, calculator, copier, fax machine, telephone, and automobile.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The skills & duties listed are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

1. Program Administration
Identify, develop, and implement new services and activities to meet the needs of HOME, Inc. clients.
Ensure all programs are implemented in a manner consistent with local/state/federal law, HUD standards, and HOME, Inc. policies and values.
Evaluate effectiveness of CHSP at regular intervals and implements necessary changes in order to maximize impact.
Manage the measurement and reporting of CHSP outcomes. Compile, interpret, and summarize data for reports as needed.
Develop and maintain program procedures and policy manuals as needed.
Develop and maintain positive relationships with CHSP funding sources and assist in the preparation of grant applications.
Assist in the preparation of an annual budget for CHSP.
Attend all relevant meetings, events, and activities.
2. Staff Supervision and Support
Assist in advertising available positions within the CHSP department.
Identify and interview qualified candidates for open CHSP positions.
Develop and implement effective on-boarding and training practices for new CHSP staff members.
Supervise/mentor CHSP staff and create a culture of mutual respect/support within the department.
Provide regular and constructive feedback to CHSP staff on their job performance.
Serve as a knowledgeable and skilled reference for all HOME, Inc. staff on housing issues, laws, and services in Central Iowa.
3. Counseling and Case Management
Demonstrate sensitivity and respect for all clients and the community at-large while adhering to the principles of equal and fair housing.
Recruit/assess recommended clients for HOME, Inc. housing options based on client needs, goals, and personal/family choices.
Develop a comprehensive Homeownership Action plan and provide extended case management, counseling, financial coaching, advocacy, and other services as needed/appropriate in order to become mortgage ready.
Prepare and monitor compliance with all program agreements (general, financial, housing expense, repair/rehab) between clients and HOME, Inc.
Develop a working knowledge of regulations/laws (local, state, and federal) which affect housing and other agencies/programs which provide assistance to individuals with housing-related problems.
Establish and maintain relationships with partner agencies in order to maximize client success. 
Maintain accurate records of clients and services provided.
4. Public Relations
Work to inform tenants, landlords, and homebuyers on their rights and responsibilities through educational sessions, written educational materials, and attendance at community events.
Function as an expert resource on housing conditions/issues in Central Iowa and advocate, at local and state level, for laws, programs, or services which would benefit HOME, Inc. clients. 
5. All other duties as assigned.
Depending on qualifications.
Additional benefits include an insurance plan covering health, vision, and dental, paid vacation and sick leave, employer sponsored training and professional development, and a 401(k)-retirement plan.

Submit cover letter, resume, and three professional references to with ‘Program Manager Application’ in the subject line. All applications must be received by December 13, 2019 for guaranteed consideration.

HOME, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Personnel are chosen on the basis of ability without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation, in accordance with federal and state law.

Learn more: HOPE for Stable Families

Through partnerships with a number of human service agencies and organizations, we have the opportunity to manage targeted programs that have specific, measurable goals. HOPE for Stable Families is one of those programs.  Through funding provided by United Way of Central Iowa and the Siemer Institute, the Stable Families program assists families experiencing a housing crisis because of temporary financial issues. 

Before we talk about the specifics of the program, it is important to understand the fundamentals of why we work so hard to make sure families have access to good, affordable housing.  Safe, secure housing is the foundation for low-income families to build upon. Safe, secure and good housing means the families have their own space – not sharing an apartment with extended family members or sleeping on couches in a friend’s home.  Data shows if a family has housing, along with supportive services, they can grow and prosper, children do better in school, and parents bring in more income.

That’s why programs like HOPE for Stable Families exist.  It is for families who have experienced a financial bump in the road – a loss of a job, an illness, a large unexpected expense. Whatever happened, it takes a family that was doing okay before and creates a crisis.  With the tightening rental market and the low number of family emergency shelter beds in Polk County, this program offers a solution to help families retain their housing, avoid eviction and prevents them from becoming homeless. To do this, HOME, Inc. provides a combination of integrated services including case management, emergency and short-term financial assistance, and referrals to partner agencies in order to ensure school and housing stability for the family.

Families participating in the program are identified by partner agencies and landlords. Qualified families are:
Typically no more than two months behind financially.
Capable of stabilizing their finances, which includes having an income.
Willing to work on a budget and set financial goals.
Within the boundaries of the Des Moines Public Schools and have school aged children.
In the program for no more than one year.
Maintain contact with their case manager.

In six years, Stable Families has supported 215 families, including 496 children. The average financial assistance provided to a family is $2,500.  In the last fiscal year, of the families who participate in the program 100% have developed and maintained a budget. But, more impressively, a majority of the participants have also improved their financial health and 94% retained their housing.  
HOPE for Stable Families is just one way we help create housing opportunities.  If you have questions, contact our case manager at 515.243.1277 ext. 222