The Home Ownership Made Easy (HOME) Program: How 500+ Families Moved from Public Housing to Sustainable Homeownership
Affordable Housing Collaboration in Minnesota: Outcomes and Lessons Learned Series
Family Housing Fund, the Saint Paul Public Housing Agency, the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA), and Thompson Associates collaborated in 1990 to create the Home Ownership Made Easy (HOME) Program, which connected families living in public housing with education and financial resources to support homeownership. When the Metropolitan Council Housing and Redevelopment Authority (Metro HRA) joined in 2005, all three of the region’s largest housing assistance providers participated in the HOME Program.
Between 1990 and 2012, 3,495 families received homeownership counseling through the HOME Program. Of these families, 504 purchased a home, opening up public housing units to 504 more families who had been on the waiting list. 2,991 families made informed decisions not to purchase a home at that time. Additionally, Family Housing Fund provided nearly $5 million in secondary loans to homebuyers through the Home Prosperity Fund.
The HOME Program was suspended in 2012 due to funding cuts to public housing agencies across the country. However, it illustrates the potential of homeownership education programs and serves as a model for public-private collaboration.