LoCAL Housing: What is it?

In a recent blog we discussed the vision for our newest housing venture, LoCAL. LoCAL Housing is our highly innovative solution to three persistent problems plaguing poverty-level families in the Upstate.

What are the Problems?

1. No asset-building opportunities for poverty level families

2. High energy costs for poverty level families

3. Insufficient employment opportunities for the men graduating the Homes of Hope job training program

Why? Satisfactory housing options for the poor are few and far between. More often than not, a family who makes less than $1300 a month may find their options limited to mobile homes, dilapidated housing, or government housing. These options often incur high utility bills because the housing is old, contains outdated appliances, or because it wasn’t quality-built in the first place. Homes like these will never gain assets for a family, rather they often depreciate in value, leaving a family with no measurable asset after years of residence.

picture11Dilapidated housing, mobile homes, & government housing are often the only options for poverty-level families

For 13 years, Homes of Hope has been dedicated to providing better housing opportunities to those in need. Our organization was birthed with the inspired idea of our founder to combine donated mobile homes with men enrolled in the Greenville Rescue Mission’s “Overcomers” program for men overcoming drug and alcohol addictions, giving men opportunities for job training through rebuilding mobile homes. The mobile home program was the start of Homes of Hope and we don’t devalue what we accomplished through it- both providing a nicer housing option for the poor, and teaching men who were overcoming drug and alcohol addictions a positive way to direct their energy and skills. However, as we’ve evolved throughout the years we’ve recognized the three largely unsolvable problems you see above. We want to serve these families better, and we want to serve our men better. Now we have a way to do it!

What’s the Solution?

LoCAL Housing is the solution!

local-elevations-concepts-6LoCAL Housing Design

Longterm (it’s permanent housing)

Compact (it’s efficient in space)

Affordable (for poverty level families)

LEED-certified (the highest in energy-efficiency)

LoCAL is a traditional stick-built home available to poverty-level families with incomes of $1000-1300 per month. Qualifying families will first complete a Homes of Hope leasing program, where they will learn budgeting, adequate savings plans and the costs and benefits of homeownership. Families will ultimately be able to purchase their LoCAL home with a standard mortgage payment of no more than $250 a month. Moreover, no family will spend more than 30% of their income for housing and utility bills.

For the first time in our area, poverty-level families will have a housing option that is affordable (only 30% of their income), gains assets (rather than depreciating like mobile homes or dilapidated housing), and that is built with the highest in energy-efficiency (LEED). The training that our men receive as they build these homes will enhance their marketability once they graduate from Homes of Hope. They will participate in the construction of LoCAL housing and emerge accredited as a LEED Green Associate propelling them to the forefront of the “green building” industry.

plumbing-class-008Men’s Development interns participate in classroom training as well as hands-on projects in preparation for LoCAL construction

LoCAL solves each of the problems we’ve struggled with for the past thirteen years and produces a fantastic housing option as a result. The first two LoCAL homes are set for construction for Summer/Fall 2012.

Intrigued? Click the video above to watch how we aim to ‘Solve 3 problems, with 1 Solution!”

This is the second installment in a 3-part blog series about our newest idea: LoCAL Housing. Read about the dream in “LoCAL: The Vision.” and how we unveiled our new program in “LoCAL: The Launch.