2018 in Review: Education, counseling and rental accomplishments

Last week, we talked about our homeownership accomplishments in the past year.  We’re equally excited about our rental, counseling and education outreach.

Our relationship with clients typically begins with a call to our counseling line.  The Community Housing Services Program (CHSP) provides both counseling and education. It includes everything from one-time calls to homebuyer education, as well as longer-term counseling relationships to bring financial matters into order.

In 2018, CHSP program served 2,375 clients.  Of those, the majority of the people we talked to were tenant household who were inquiring about their rights.  We also talked to 675 Section 8 tenants, 162 landlords and 41 service provider clients.  We learned a couple of other key factors from these clients.

  • Almost 80% of the CHSP clients spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs.  Of that 80%, more than half spend 50% of their income on housing costs. The rule of thumb for a healthy budget is to spend 30% or less of their total income on housing costs.
  • While housing rights is typically the topic of counseling calls, it is followed closely by calls about avoiding eviction and how to get repairs completed.

Our homeless prevention program Hope for Stable Families assisted 36 families, which included 89 children.  The participants in the program were successful in moving forward towards self-sufficiency.  

  • 100% Completed and maintained a monthly budget.
  • 94% obtained or retained housing.
  • 64% increased their income

While we manage these programs, they wouldn’t be possible without funding assistance from United Way of Central Iowa, the Polk Housing Trust Fund and Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

As we look forward to 2019, there are no significant changes planned for CHSP and Stable Families. We are excited about being able to serve our clients and provide housing opportunities throughout our many programs.

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