Partners in Housing (PIH) is modeled after a program developed by Family Promise of Grand Rapids. Over the past eight years, Family Promise of Grand Rapids has moved 94 families into manufactured homes, with a success rate of 92%.
Three pilot programs were created in Colorado Springs, CO; Gainesville, FL; and Anoka County, MN to test the program’s viability in a range of markets. Based on those pilots, Prosperity Now granted Family Promise $250,000 to expand the program to Affiliates in Salem, OR; Billings, MT; Knoxville, TN; and Great River, MN. PIH provides families with an opportunity to escape homelessness in a way that is financially responsible while allowing them to become homeowners building their own equity.
Manufactured housing communities, often called trailer parks, have units on lots that have been distressed or abandoned. Because manufactured housing typically is a depreciating asset, these units have little value.
Family Promise Affiliates, each of which has a large pool of volunteers, donors and supporters, are uniquely positioned to address that issue. With professional oversight, to ensure a unit can be rehabbed, an Affiliate can find both the labor and the funding to refurbish a unit and make it habitable. Additionally, it can provide the ongoing case management support so a family placed in the unit can have the support needed to maintain its housing.
In the end, once the family has successfully transitioned in place, it gains title to the unit and becomes a homeowner.
Like the Family Promise program itself, the PIH program builds on resources that already exist in Family Promise communities, providing permanent housing to families at a fraction of the cost of other programs. It allows for asset building by participating families, community engagement by volunteers and corporate partners, and it is easily replicable in communities nationwide.