In most of our communities there is no lack of homeowners that need help with home maintenance. However, getting eligible families to apply for ABWK can be challenging early on in your programs development. It is important to reach out to homeowners through key communication avenues that have credibility among potential applicants.
Many of our homeowners have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors, lenders and insurance companies. Many of them have a distrust when they here of a "deal to good to be true."
It is therefore important to establish strong community partners that have a good reputation in your neighborhoods. Many of your homeowners will have already used services through these agencies and have a familiarity and comfort in dealing with them. These agencies can help promote ABWK or directly help facilitate the ABWK application process. Developing partnerships among agencies, municipalities (code enforcement), hospitals/rehab. facilities and other key organizations will help keep a steady flow of family applicants coming through your program.
Developing key partnerships as well as using a variety of local media outlets will create a well rounded homeowner outreach initiative.
It is also important to use a variety of communication tools to get the word out. At TCHFH, we use flyers, door hangers, magnets, display cards, bulletin inserts and media releases to get our message that we care and are offering a valuable service to assist them in living in a safe and decent home.
Finally, if you are targeting particular neighborhoods, make sure that you have critical mass to gather enough eligible family homeowners. Many of our neighborhoods have a high rate of rental properties and homes in the foreclosure process. Depending on the size of your target area and the number of applicants you are seeking, it may be a challenge to find enough eligible homeowners to participate in your program.
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