June 30, 2017

Learning Homeownership Skills by Getting Your Hands Dirty

Photo: Kimberly Walker, Director of Housing Education at DRHA.

In southern Virginia, the Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority (DRHA) recently expanded their housing program by developing a full-service housing education department. The Center for Housing Education is a three-year venture that offers Virginia’s first Post-Purchase Home Program, along with a host of other professional services.

The program fights blight by empowering individuals to purchase and maintain homes that would otherwise be slated for the wrecking ball. The Center provides a post-purchase workshop that focuses on three core components: preventative maintenance, financial management, and community. They also have a hands-on workshop that teaches homeowners preventive maintenance such as: how to repair wall board, change plumbing in sinks and toilets, install door knobs, and other home maintenance basics like how to properly use a hammer and nail.

The Center’s other professional services include financial management, credit counseling, debt management counseling, rental counseling, pre-purchase counseling, a homebuyers’ educational course, post-purchase counseling, and Fair Housing training – all of which are free to homeowners!

The Center has also partnered with The City of Danville Community Development Department to facilitate the first HUD-based Lease Purchase Program in the State of Virginia. The 36-month program gives low-income families the opportunity to remove barriers that may prevent them from purchasing a home. Kimberly Walker, Director of Housing Education, leads DRHA’s housing education department and has created strategies that will inspire others to reach for their goals and to fulfill their dreams.

The mission of The Center is to cultivate new housing lifestyles for any housing situation an individual or family may be in, and to fit their housing lifestyle needs for today with a focus towards tomorrow.

Read the latest issue of The Bridge from HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling or subscribe at TheBridge@hud.gov.

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