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AHF is Issuing a RFP for REHAB of a Home For a Low Income Family in Fort Myers

AHF gets calls on a daily basis for affordable housing for low income families. We realize that the average low income family is paying more than they can afford for rents in Lee County so we are rehabbing a home we just purchased at 2119 Sunrise Blvd., Fort Myers, FL which will become a rental for a low income family struggling to survive. This is only a two bedroom home but it will be beautiful and energy efficient once it is finished. So we are looking for bids for our RFP. The pre-bid meeting will be held at the house February 11th at 9:30 AM. If you are a contractor wanting to bid please e-mail Lois at lois@ahf.today or show up at the pre-bid meeting see the attachments above for more details. Hope to see you there!

What You Can Do to Protect Your Home From Weather-Related Damage

According to the Congressional Budget Office, expected annual economic losses from weather-related damage caused by hurricane winds and storm-related flooding total $54 billion, with $34 billion of those losses to households. If you are like most people, your home is probably one of your biggest investments; therefore, you should do whatever you can to protect it. When it comes to weather damage, you need homeowners insurance. However, you should also take other steps to lower the risk of major destruction and costly, inconvenient repairs.

How to Reduce the Risk of Wind Damage

Hurricanes and other severe storms can wreak havoc on your home in the form of wind damage. Wind can damage shingles, siding, and doors, so make sure shingles and siding are fastened properly and install storm shutters on doors and windows if your area is prone to violent storms. During storms, tree branches and limbs can crash onto your home or vehicle. Regularly trimming the trees that are near your home can help reduce the risk of fallen limb damage. Depending on the size of the tree, the average cost of tree trimming can range from just $75 up to $1,000. If you have dead or dying trees on your property, have them removed promptly so they do not become projectiles during a storm.

Check your homeowners insurance policy to ensure you understand the coverage. Some policies have separate deductibles for hurricane or wind damage, while others exclude this type of damage from standard coverage and require you to purchase a separate windstorm policy.          

How to Protect Your Home from Hail

The best defense against hail damage is investing in an impact-resistant roof. Shingles made from modified asphalt are generally affordable and offer some resistance with their rubber-like qualities. Plastic or resin shingles, as well as other types of metal shingles, may be more durable but at a higher price tag. Talk to roofing contractors in your area to learn about upgraded materials that can protect against hail damage and extend the lifespan of your roof.

Hailstones can damage more than just your roof. If you live in an area prone to hail, consider the previously mentioned storm shutters to protect your windows from cracking or shattering. Also, be sure to bring in patio furniture, BBQ grills, and other outdoor items before any storm.

How to Stop Rain and Snowmelt from Leaking Into Your Home

Severe rains, flash floods, and melted snow can leak into your home and cause serious issues. You can avoid this problem by having your roof inspected for missing shingles and damaged flashing before storm season. Also, clean out your gutters regularly. If they get clogged, water can overflow and damage the exterior of your home or leak into your basement.

To protect your foundation, you want to ensure the ground around your house slopes downward away from your home rather than toward it. If water runs toward the edge of your house, it can leak into your foundation. Therefore, you may need to add soil into any low spots to deter water from pooling around the perimeter of your home.

How Sunlight Can Damage Your House

Believe it or not, the sun can damage your house too. Strong sunlight can cause vinyl siding to melt or crack over time, so consider planting trees around your home to protect siding from sun damage. The sun can also deteriorate the shingles of your roof if you don’t have a cool roof coating with a high reflectivity rating. These coatings can also help prevent water damage as well. Sunlight coming through your windows can also discolor certain types of hardwood floors quickly, including cherry wood. However, window coverings can prevent this type of damage.

You can’t control the weather or avoid any kind of weather-related damage to your home. However, you can take several preventive measures that will help reduce the chances of costly repairs. Protecting your home today from wind, hail, sunlight, and water damage will save you money, time, and aggravation in the long run.

Article By Natalie Jones

Photo via Pixabay

Affordable Homeownership Foundation and Center For Independent Living Gulf Coast Partner for Affordable Housing

 Progress on the

Single Room Occupancy Dwellings!

The pictures above are of the completed SRO Project, these are the two completed SRO Homes. We have a third under construction and will be completed early this year.

So, as the housing market soars so do rents and individuals who are on a fixed income like Veterans, Disabled, Youth Aging Out of Foster Care, and seniors and their choices for housing becomes greatly reduced. The average rent in our area starts at $1000 and goes up from there. The average person on Social Security Disability, or Social Security or a  stipend for rent (youth) make anywhere from $500-$1100 so many of these individuals are at risk of becoming homeless or are homeless because they don’t make enough money to rent anything.

Shared Housing is the only way to make the rent equation work, but who wants to live with people you don’t know? We found this out from our shared housing that we already rent. Getting along with people you don’t know and necessarily don’t want to know becomes an issue when someone’s habits that they have accrued over the many years get’s under someone else’s skin.

We looked at the Single Room Occupancy model four single room occupancy units under one roof. Each unit will have it’s own bedroom, Universal Design bathroom, and kitchenette. With a shared washer/dryer area, lounge and a case management office. This design allows each individual to stay in their own area with having minimal interaction with other housemates. The average rent for these units is $350 including utilities but not cable.

For more information or to get on the waiting list please call 239-689-4944 or send and e-mail regarding getting on the waiting list to: info@ahf.today, we look forward to hearing from you!

Good News! Share of U.S. Households without a Bank Account Continues to Drop

Share of U.S. Households without a Bank Account Continues to Drop
Unbanked Rate Declines to 6.5 Percent in 2017
For the third consecutive survey period, the number of U.S. households without a bank account fell, according to the results of the 2017 biennial National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households released today by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
“The good news is that our nation’s banking system is serving more American households than ever before. The bad news is that even as the overall number of people who are unbanked has declined, 8.4 million households continue to lack a banking relationship,” said FDIC Chairman Jelena McWilliams.
The percentage of U.S. households that were unbanked in 2017 the most recent year of the survey, was 6.5 percent, the lowest rate recorded since the FDIC began conducting the survey in 2009. It was down from 7.0 percent in 2015, and down significantly from a high of 8.2 percent in 2011. The unbanked numbers for 2017 equate to 14.1 million adults in 8.4 million households not having a checking or savings account.
The decline in the unbanked rate from 2015 to 2017 can be explained almost entirely by improvements in the socioeconomic circumstances of U.S. households.
The number of underbanked U.S. households was also down compared to 2015 levels. In 2017, 18.7 percent of U.S. households were considered underbanked, or approximately 48.9 million adults in 24.2 million households. For purposes of the survey, the term underbanked refers to households that had an account at an insured institution but also obtained financial products or services outside of the banking system.
Consistent with previous surveys, banking status in 2017 varied considerably across the U.S. population. For example, unbanked and underbanked rates were higher among lower-income households, less-educated households, younger households, black and Hispanic households, households headed by working-age individuals with a disability, and households with incomes that tend to vary from month to month.
Mobile banking continues to become an increasingly important way for consumers to access their accounts. In 2017, mobile banking was used by 40.4 percent of banked U.S. households to access their account, almost double the 23.2 percent four years earlier.
According to the survey results, 86.0 percent of banked households visited a bank branch in the past 12 months, and 35.4 percent visited ten or more times. This held true for households that used online or mobile banking as their primary means for accessing their accounts: 81.0 percent of banked households that used mobile banking as their primary method visited a branch in the past 12 months, and nearly one-quarter (23.0 percent) visited ten or more times.
Other key findings in the survey include:
• Nearly 13 percent of households (14.8 million households) demonstrated unmet demand for mainstream small-dollar credit, and a majority of these households (57.2 percent) reported staying current on bills in the prior year. The report notes that new underwriting technologies, such as those that rely on transactions in consumers’ checking accounts, could help expand credit availability for some of these households.
• One in five U.S. households (22.7 million households) did not use mainstream credit in the prior 12 months and, consequently, may lack a credit score. Black and Hispanic households at every income level evaluated in the survey were more likely to be in this condition than white households. The report notes that helping these households establish and build a credit history can make it easier for them to access credit on reasonable terms when a need arises.
• Along with 86 percent of banked households, almost one in six unbanked households visited a bank branch in the past year. The report notes that these visits may represent key opportunities to inform unbanked households about products and services that can meet their needs.
• While unbanked rates have fallen in recent years, those that remain unbanked have proven more and more likely to respond that they are “not very likely” or “not at all likely” to open a bank account in the next year (75.0 percent in 2017 versus 62.1 percent in 2013). This fact, along with evidence that certain population segments remain much more likely to be unbanked, suggests that strategies targeted at addressing barriers to bank account ownership for specific groups may help further reduce unbanked rates.
• The share of households reporting that they turned to nonbank firms in the last year for the provision of credit and transaction services tracked in the survey dropped to 22.1 percent, down from 24.0 percent in 2015 and 24.9 percent in 2013. The drop was evidenced in both the use of credit and transaction services.
The FDIC survey began in 2009 and is conducted every other year in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau. It provides detailed national, state, and local data to inform understanding of access to banking and to support economic inclusion efforts.
Go to economicinclusion.gov for additional survey findings, to generate custom tables, and to download information from all five surveys. Data also is available for metropolitan areas and states.
Survey Results
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Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation’s banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation’s banks and savings associations, 5,542 as of June 30, 2018. It promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars—insured financial institutions fund its operations.
FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at www.fdic.gov, by subscription electronically (go to www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html) and may also be obtained through the FDIC’s Public Information Center (877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200). PR-77-2018

First Time Home Buyer Classes Live & In Person!

Affordable Homeownership Foundation holds their First Time Home Buyer Classes the second Saturday of each month. Who should attend?

  • Anyone who has never owned a home
  • Anyone who has owned a home previously and has a Foreclosure, short sale, or deed in Lieu
  • Anyone who has not owned a home in 3 years
  • Those who think they want to own a home but are unsure where to start or what to do.

Affordable Homeownership Foundation is hosting in an house First Time Home Buyer Classes the second Saturday of each month at their location 5264 Clayton Court, Suite 1, Fort Myers, FL 33907  at  9:00 AM Pre-registration is REQUIRED  by e-mailing lois@ahf.today or by calling 239-689-4944

If you cannot make the class we also offer the e-home America on line class through our website www.ahf.today click on “Homebuyer education” and then the link for the class is towards the end. Just fill out the information requested and once you finish the class you can print out your own  “Certificate of completion” The on-line class costs $99.00 per person save your receipts as it can be counted towards your 3% down payment.

What will you learn:

1.) Are you Ready to Buy a Home?

2.) Managing Your Money

3.) Understanding Credit

4.) Obtaining a Mortgage Loan

5.) Shopping For A Home

6.) Protecting your Investment

This class is taught by professionals in the Industry

Realtors- Who go over how to find a Home and what to look for in a Neighborhood, how not to buy more house than you can afford

Mortgage Professionals & Bankers- What loans and rates are available and what that all means and what a Mortgage application and closing documents look like and what to expect at closing

Home Inspectors- All aspects of a home inspection and why one is necessary, all of the things to look for when buying a home

Insurance Personnel- Types of Insurance, What is a Deductible? Do you need Flood Insurance? What does insurance cover?  Why is a Hurricane deductible different than a regular deductible. What is Recoverable Depreciation? And so much more

Credit- What is on your Credit Report? How to fix errors, What Mortgage professionals and Bankers look at when considering you for a loan and much more…

The following is a list of documents to bring to the class or for counseling:

  • Copies of your most recent utility bills
  • 2 most recent pay stubs (for each person in the household)
  • If disabled or on social security, Proof of SSI/SSDI, pensions, child support, alimony etc. for each person in the household
  • If self-employed, a signed and dated year to date profit and loss statement
  • Last 3 months of bank statements, all pages all accounts in PDF format, (account snapshots from the internet will not be accepted)
  • Last 2 year’s tax returns (signed on the signature page)

Please do not bring original documents, as we will have to make copies and that takes time.

In addition, we have to pull credit as a HUD requirement unless you bring a tri-merge RECENT credit report. The credit report we pull is a “Soft Pull” and does not affect your credit score in any way. CREDCO charges us $17.00 per person so that would be the charge to you, we will give you a copy of the credit report to take with you when you leave, we take cash, or charge.

See you at the class, call with any questions, pre-registration is mandatory

We are now a Guidestar Platinum Participant!

Squirrel’s Nest Resale Shop to Benefit Veterans & Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

The “Squirrels Nest” opened in 2016 with the goal that proceeds will help our Mission to help Veterans and Youth Aging Out of Foster Care.

All items in “The Nest” are donated items and are of great quality. We have a little of something for everyone, San Diego Hats, Baggalini  Purses, Jewelry, Books, CD’s all of music types, furniture, etc… Come by and see what we have to offer and help someone in need at the same time!  See you at The Nest!

AHF receives letter from the White House

Letter received from White House

Letter received from White House

A “Thank You” from a valued client – Janet Hause

An AHF story with a happy ending

Janet Hause
Fort Myers, FL
December 9, 2014

Hi Everyone!

My name is Janet and I am writing to all who may have the same situation that I had. My husband passed away in 2012 and two days after he died I was served with Foreclosure papers. As you can imagine by that time I was at the end of my rope, with nowhere to turn.

I had heard up north about an organization named “HUD” so I looked them up in the phone book in Florida. I called and they gave me a phone number for a HUD approved housing counseling agency called Affordable Homeownership Foundation (AHF) who helps people with housing and foreclosure problems like mine. I called and set up an appointment with them to see if they could help me. When I called they asked me to bring all of my paperwork to their office regarding the house, my mortgage and my financials, which I did. I met with a woman named Lois, she was so helpful and while I was there she introduced me to a man who happened to be in the same office for a meeting that day, his name is Ken.

Lois and Ken and I discussed our situation, and they asked if I would consider putting the house up for sale, because at that point I thought my only option was to give the house back and that is what I had told Lois I wanted to do, because I did not think I could sell it legally with the house being in Foreclosure. Ken told me based on my documents and how much the bank was saying I owed on the house but based on his quick research the house could be listed for over $100,000 more than what lowed, I had no idea!

We listed the house in August of this year and with many ups and downs over the month we finally got an offer by the end of September, not for the full listing price but close enough and it was a cash offer! During the ups and downs Ken and Lois helped me so often, reassuring me that I would be able to get out from under this debt and with the sale all of my other debts, I kept wondering if I could ever repay them. (I called them my Guardian Angels). I thought I had went to heaven, all of my debts were paid! Today I received two pieces of mail the first piece of mail to tell my mortgage had been satisfied, the second was a statement from the law firm handling the Foreclosure telling me the debt was “paid in full” another dream in my life!

I can never thank any of these wonderful “Angels” enough, I love them dearly, they saved my life! Thank you all!

Sincerely,
Janet Hause

Now all your Amazon purchases can help AHF!

Shopping on Amazon for a good cause

We have joined the Amazon Smile program. That means when you visit Amazon through the link on our site, a small portion of your purchase is donated by Amazon to Affordable Homeownership Foundation, Inc.

Shoppers can choose any of the organizations participating in the program when they shop, and half of one percent of the total will be donated to the chosen cause.

Small donations like this can really add up and make a difference, so please consider helping AHF by using Amazon smile through our link – just click through the Amazon Smile banner in the sidebar or footer area across our site.

Thank you!