Opening the Door to Homeownership Through Financial Capability

Buying a home for the first time is exciting for anyone, but for Xiomarys, homeownership is especially sweet. By working with The Caleb Group and diligently saving every month, Xiomarys, the first person in her family to own a home, purchased a manufactured home to share with her daughter. The programs made available to Xiomarys and her family not only ensures stable housing, it also underscores the importance of manufactured housing as an affordable form of homeownership.

To save enough money to purchase her home, Xiomarys participated in HUD’s Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) program, which has been offered by The Caleb Group since 2014. The FFS program allows public housing residents in project-based housing, and more recently private Section 8 properties, to save a portion of their monthly rent in escrow towards the goal of homeownership. The Caleb Group partnered with Compass Working Capital to provide FSS participants with financial coaching, which is a crucial component of helping families like Xiomarys’ reach their financial goals. With the help of coaches and the support of her Caleb Group service coordinator, Xiomarys set goals, resolved credit issues, created and worked within a budget. She increased her income which raised her rent, and through the FSS program was able to save her rent differentials. After accumulating these savings, Xiomarys worked with her service coordinator, bankers and real estate agents to purchase her first home.

The Caleb Group’s innovative partnership with Compass Working Capital highlights the opportunity for housing organizations to offer financial capability services to their residents, and in particular the ability to leverage the opportunities that FSS offers. The integration of housing and financial capability services provides a holistic way to foster financial stability through coordination of services for wealth-building. In this integrated model, residents may move into homeownership, which is itself a wealth-building tool. Furthermore, manufactured housing provides the nation’s largest source of unsubsidized affordable housing and can and should be an important and increasing asset for families looking to build wealth.

The opportunities created through financial capability services and manufactured housing have provided Xiomarys and her family with a path to wealth-building. Prosperity Now continues to support the integration of housing and financial capability so that more organizations can provide this holistic model of service delivery.

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