Family and Community DevelopmentSMHA's Directorate of family and community development is critical to the success of helping families build financial assets through home ownership. Our family and community development programs are an investment -- one that helps homeowners protect and continue to build their assets and their communities! Our programs include:
- Homeownership Counseling
- Future Homeowners Loan Action Plan
- Family First Inspection Program
- Skills Transfer Center
- Homeowners' Association
- Learning Opportunities
Home Ownership CounselingProspective home buyers must participate in Homeownership Counseling classes to qualify for a loan. These classes were developed by SMHA and are delivered by SMHA staff, bank trainers, and homeowners' association members. The classes are interactive and include topics such as:
Budgeting · Increasing income · Strategies for cleaning up and protecting credit records · Mortgage payments · Construction decisions · Long-term home maintenance · Community and civic engagement
Future Homeowners Loan Action PlanSome families may not be ready for a Louisiana Rural Home Loan Partnership loan. SMHA assists these families in developing a Future Homeowners Loan Action Plan: a plan for improving their credit and preparing for homeownership!
Family First Inspection ProgramThrough the Family First Inspection Program, families who are approved for loans are provided a checklist and are involved in inspecting their houses as they are being built. By working with SMHA to identify and correct any problems before final inspections are conducted by the lending institutions, family members develop a sense of ownership. This program reinforces excellence during the building stage, promotes customer satisfaction with the final product, and educates the families about maintaining their homes.
Skills Transfer CenterAll too often homeowners pay high fees for professionals to do simple repairs. At the IBERIABANK-sponsored Skill Transfer Center, families learn how to do basic household maintenance and repairs themselves, while gaining confidence in their abilities and acquiring new skills. Homeowners are encouraged to invite friends, neighbors, and co-workers to share in the learning and form a support network. These hands-on classes include the following topics:
Basic tool safety · Hanging ceiling tiles · Sheet rock repair · Plumbing skills such as changing gaskets and sealing joints · Painting techniques · Window caulking · Toilet repair · Installation and maintenance of cabinet drawers · Changing door locks and knobs · A/C maintenance
Honeowners' AssociationHomeownership counseling classes emphasize that important decisions do not end with the construction or purchase of a home. The Homeowners' Association offers families who have purchased their home through the Louisiana Rural Home Loan Partnership an opportunity to join together to help shape policies that impact their communities. Members of the association represent a wide spectrum of rural Louisiana's low-wealth families: women and men; African-Americans, Creoles, Cajuns, and Euro-Americans; young and old.
Click here for the Homeowners' Association page
Learning OpportunitiesNew homeowners, as a part of their Louisiana Rural Home Loan Partnership loan package, become eligible to receive scholarships to participate in continuing education activities of their choice. These scholarships help to set a pattern of life-long learning.
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