30 families move toward first-time homeownership in Southern Indiana

Metro United Way has exciting results to share from the pilot year of its Southern Indiana homeownership program.

The goal of the program is to help families transition from unstable, temporary housing to first-time homeownership. Multiple barriers are tackled, like the families’ savings, education, and life skills, providing a holistic approach to building financial stability and generational wealth.

In its first year, 30 families enrolled in the program. Most of them were single-parent households led by women, and 26 families had children under the age of 18. The majority of participating families reported a household income under $45,000 a year.

The multi-generational approach to the program focused on helping all working-age family members with new or additional skill attainment. Through this, more than half are now active in one or more programs that focus on skill development. Three heads of households also obtained their GED or high school diploma!

All families have identified their specific barriers, created budgets, and made a detailed plan to advance their financial stability, as well. Five families have been pre-approved and are actively shopping for their perfect home. And one very proud family has accomplished the goal of becoming first-time homeowners in just 12 months!

Families also received additional wrap-around services and had opportunities to participate in learning sessions with speakers who discussed multiple aspects of successful homeownership. Though the pilot year is over, these families continue to receive guidance and services to help them reach their goals.

“We learned a lot from our pilot year and encountered a couple of unforeseen challenges, such as what we have experienced in the economy and the reality of the housing market and increased property values,” Josh Kornberg, Vice Chair of Metro United Way’s Board of Directors, said. “But I am proud to say this did not stop or discourage us, this motivated us to continue to push a little harder and keep moving forward.”

Metro United Way’s Southern Indiana Housing Team and Advisory Council is currently working on phase two of the program. Leaning into the learnings from the pilot year, the next round will not only include homeownership and barrier removal but will also focus on “housing safety.” Housing safety refers to current homeowners who are living with a repair need they cannot afford that negatively affects their living conditions.

Along with the volunteer Southern Indiana Advisory Council, whose members are bold and unafraid to put a stake in the ground to embrace the housing needs in our community, this work is possible thanks to the Salvation Army, which partnered with Metro United Way to execute the pilot year of the program.

Learn more about the impact Metro United Way makes in our community by following its Impact Tracker here.


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