Welcome - This blog was created to discuss the common questions and topics concerning the start-up and ongoing operations of A Brush with Kindness and Aging in Place

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Homeowner Services - Creating A New Paradigm

Habitat for Humanity was created to serve and help families become homebuyers and homeowners.  Habitat homebuyer families and volunteers partner to build/create the end product - a new or rehabilitated home.  It has been an incredibly successful model.

A Brush with Kindness was created to serve existing homeowner families preserve/maintain their homes.  These homeowners have become homeowners in the more traditional way of saving for a down payment and seeking a market rate mortgage from a for-profit financial institution.  Many of these homeowners have worked hard for many years to create and maintain their home.  However, for a variety of reasons they have run into difficult circumstances where home maintenance is not the immediate priority.

Homebuyer families are not living on the home site when work is being done on their home.  Homebuyer families are highly motivated Habitat partners.  For the most part, homebuyer families are moving up economically and spend about a year with Habitat preparing to be homeowners.

ABWK homeowner families live on site where staff and volunteers will be working.  They are usually on very shaky financial circumstances.  Many times ABWK have family situations that are unstable and where one or more family members are experiencing significant emotional and/or physical issue's.

Homebuyer families and homeowner families have very different circumstances and needs.  Habitat's traditional home building model does not always fit well with ABWK families. 

An affiliates volunteer, marketing and fundraising area's can be easily adapted for ABWK program and family needs.  However, Because of the short duration of the ABWK work, having families living on the work site, the immediate needs of existing homeowners and ABWK having a simpler application process, other area's of Habitat operations such as project management, family services and construction may need significant adaptation to make an ABWK program successful.  abwk habitat for humanity

It may be helpful to look at Habitat services as two distinct area's:

1. Homebuyer Services
    - Creation:  homebuilding and rehabbing in partnership with homebuyer families.

2. Homeowner Services 
    - Preservation:  ABWK renovation work - including all exterior and interior work done in partnership with existing homeowners.

Let me know your thoughts on how ABWK fits organizationally with your affiliate.

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, then to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows no victory or defeat.   - Theodore Roosevelt

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