Self-Help IDA Project Teaches Home Owners how to Take Care of Their New Homes
Most organizations that administer asset-building programs, including Individual Development Account (IDA) projects, recognize that participants benefit from continuing assistance and guidance.
With the goal of long-term empowerment, NeighborWorks Great Falls offers post purchase classes on home maintenance, including plumbing and full-finish painting. Karen Nebel, manager of NeighborWorks’ Home Ownership Center, says participant surveys showed that people wanted more guidance after purchasing homes. The hands-on classes educate people on home maintenance. “Once you have an asset, you need to take care of it so it continues to be an asset and not a liability,” Nebel says.
The maintenance classes are an extension of NeighborWorks Great Falls’ larger self-help program, which encourages people to take complete ownership of their homes. In the program, 10 prospective homeowners come together, share their skills and labor, and build each other’s homes largely from scratch. The program offers participants new assets and long-lasting expertise.
The self-help program and the hands-on classes work in combination with NeighborWorks’ IDA project to foster an enduring, holistic sense of independence, Nebel says. So far, nine IDA participants have joined the program, using their savings to improve their new homes. With the hands-on focus, participants “take pride in doing the work themselves, as they put their heart and soul into their new homes.”
If you would like to hear more about the self-help program and post purchase classes, or you are interested in offering similar programs at your organization, you can call 406-761-5861.
This article originally ran in the IDAresources.org Update Newsletter on 09/23/10 and is available for archival purposes.