Affordable housing does not take a break. We know this. It does not matter the season, the year, or a pandemic, housing is always a necessity in our community. HOME, Inc. works hard throughout all of these times to make sure that people have access to their futures including safe and affordable housing.
We have been working hard these past couple of months making sure that people have access to the information about their housing rights. Although we were separated from our coworkers and community at our office we found ourselves online connecting from our own homes.
Homeownership is a long process and we had a few families who were at the end of that process. They were getting ready to sign the papers. Although it was not the ceremony it normally is, the papers were still signed outside in parking lots. We managed to close on three houses since April. Regardless of the uncertain times, we now have three more successful homeowners, and are so proud!
To help social distancing we added a drop box outside of our building. Now clients can drop off paperwork and other forms safely. This helps us continue the journey our clients are on even if it looks a bit different. We have made some other updates to our building as well. We have a new collage on our back windows that highlight our houses and clients. It helps identify who we are and what our mission is.
We have been on the phones more than ever helping to communicate with our clients. We are able to do homebuyer education classes online and are brainstorming how we can have larger virtual online classes in the future. Our housing counselors have been communicating with tenants and landlords to help them understand their rights and responsibilities through this time with the new laws and policies.
We have learned a lot throughout this pandemic. The main lesson we have learned is how accessible technology is. We learned how easy it is to pick up the phone to call a friend or host an epic zoom party. We developed better communication skills as we understand the importance of human interaction and partnership. We hope to use these skills in the future, pandemic or not, to create a stronger community and become an even better organization.