Split the Plate is one of UUCW’s programs of outreach and generosity. Each month we give half of all undesignated offering monies to a non-profit organization as a way to help us live our Unitarian Universalist values and serve our community.
Our split the plate partner for October is a minority-run non-profit that has been fighting the good fight for justice and equality in housing and mortgage lending for minorities since 1991. Many of the clients of Housing Resources, Inc. are the first members in multiple generations of their families to move from renting to owning a home. Their clients face multiple obstacles to becoming homeowners including a lack of financial knowledge, limited resources, bad credit, and discrimination in lending practices. HRI helps people overcome these obstacles with consumer financial education through their Home Buyer Education Program. When the seminar is completed, participants are invited to begin individual financial counseling with a certified housing counselor who helps each person review their financial situation and develop a personal action plan to overcome obstacles to mortgage approval and homeownership. The counselor will walk with the person through the entire process until the home is purchased. Some clients are ready in a few months while others may take years.
Many of the clients of HRI are spending 40-50% of their income on housing. When they complete the process and purchase a home, they will have a 30-year mortgage at a maximum of 35% of income with a reputable lender. This gives them stable, affordable housing and the opportunity to possibly build wealth in home equity over time.
HRI also works to help people keep the homes they own. They offer education programs for new homeowners, counseling and assistance for people facing possible foreclosure, reverse mortgage counseling for seniors, home maintenance classes, and a Tool Loan Center to lend tools to Milwaukee residents to help them save money while keeping up maintenance on their homes. Given the developing COVID-19 housing crisis with pending mortgage foreclosures, HRI is currently ramping us a large scale mortgage counseling and assistance program to help people facing the possible loss of their homes. There will be more information on this later in October.
Facts about Housing Resources’ clients:
- 86% are a minority
- 65% are single women with children
- 88% are low-to-moderate income people
For more information, go to the Housing Resources, Inc. website.