HOME’s 44-year-strong mission is to ensure equal access to housing for all people. We take a holistic approach, addressing individual instances of housing discrimination through education and counseling, and working on a larger scale to tackle systemically divisive housing practices through research, advocacy and statewide policy work. At a time when unequal access to housing and credit contribute most to the United States’ growing wealth gap, HOME’s multi-faceted approach is a powerful catalyst toward furthering fair housing.
HOME’s top accomplishments from
is Virginia’s premier fair housing and housing counseling organization, offering
a variety of programs and services designed to ensure equal access to housing
for all Virginians. We were founded in
1971 to fight discrimination in housing access.
HOME became a national leader and made ground-breaking innovations in the 1980s. Particularly important was the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Havens v. Coleman, which nationally affirmed the legality of testing and of fair housing organizations having standing to bring cases against those who violated the fair housing law. HOME set precedent again in 2000 by settling a lawsuit against Nationwide Insurance for alleged redlining of urban African-American neighborhoods. This settlement made homeowners insurance available in urban areas throughout the country.
Since 1989, HOME has helped more than 5,000 families acquire the knowledge and skills needed to manage their money and use credit effectively. HOME has provided more than 1,900 clients with downpayment assistance, and even at the height of the foreclosure crisis, 96% of participating families successfully avoided foreclosure. HOME's homeownership classes and pre-purchase counseling are in high demand, receiving roughly 1,500 inquiries annually.
HOME's foreclosure prevention services are in great demand and are highly successful. In fiscal year 2015, HOME's foreclosure prevention and intervention program provided counseling to 201 new clients in danger of losing their homes. In the last five years, 85% of foreclosure prevention clients were successful at avoiding foreclosure. Our foreclosure prevention program was named Best Housing Program in 2010 by then-Governor Bob McDonnell at the Governor’s Housing Conference.
HOME’s legacy inspires me. From unanimous decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court and historic wins against systemic discrimination by insurance and lending companies, to assisting thousands of individuals purchase their homes or avoid foreclosure, HOME’s four decades of success are incredible. But our future is even brighter.
With everything we’ve accomplished, HOME’s mission to ensure equal access to housing for all people continues to be critical. The housing crisis has made the need for our direct services to homebuyers and homeowners in distress even more important. Discrimination in subtle and not-so-subtle ways continues to prevent housing choice and access to opportunity. HOME continues to shine light on these realities and address them though services, investigation, and policy advocacy.
Heather Mullins Crislip is president and CEO of HOME. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Mary Washington College and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School Of Law. While living in New Haven, Conn. she directed the region’s welfare to work one-stop center and served as Assistant to the Mayor for Policy Analysis where she worked on workforce development and homeownership issues. In New Haven, she also oversaw a large investigation to assess the region’s compliance with the Fair Housing Act, conducting analyses of impediments and making recommendations to improve the education, outreach and enforcement of fair housing laws. After moving to Honolulu, Heather served as the Chief of Staff to a Hawaii state senator and the Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to the Chancellor of the University of Hawaii, where she oversaw all external relations and advocated for the University’s legislative agenda in the state legislature.
In 2009, Heather oversaw the bipartisan policy projects for the Miller Center at the University of Virginia for former Governor Gerald Baliles. She also served as the Staff Director of the Goode National Transportation Policy Project, which was honored by President Obama in a Rose Garden ceremony in 2010 and described as a “landmark” policy report by the Washington Post.
Heather provides HOME with a wealth of legal, policy, fund development, communications and leadership expertise.
HOME’s Center for Fair Housing protects
the housing choices of all people by assisting and protecting victims of
housing discrimination, investigating fair housing violations, and educating
consumers and the housing industry.
The program’s goal is to enforce rights and to be free from unlawful housing discrimination while educating consumers and industry professionals on their fair housing rights and responsibilities. The Center for Fair Housing aims to raise awareness of the protected classes under fair housing law and reach out to those facing housing discrimination based on one of these characteristics: race, color, religion, national origin, elderliness, familial status, gender, and disability. The Center has made a significant impact in the Richmond metro region through education and filing fair housing complaints after thorough investigations. The Center has identified increasing our visibility as a goal to reach in underserved rural and metro areas, such as Hampton Roads and northern Virginia, which we will achieve by speaking with consumers in these areas who are unaware of their rights and how to assert them.
HOME’s homeownership team helps
families become successful, long-term homeowners through group education and
individual counseling sessions that cover all aspects of buying, sustaining,
and protecting their investment. Educating families on sound money management skills
is another key component. Additionally,
HOME’s down payment assistance helps families take an important step to
building wealth and obtaining the American dream.
Since 1991, 1,905 families have received downpayment assistance for a total local economic impact of $91,475,776. Five years after purchase, 96 percent of our homeowners have successfully maintained their mortgages.
In the coming year, HOME
anticipates providing 300 individuals with credit repair, personal financial
management or asset building services. The program will continue to increase
homeownership among low-income families, giving those families an opportunity
to build assets, but also educating families on how to protect and maintain
their investment, practice sound money management skills and avoid predatory
In conjunction with its homebuyer counseling and education, HOME offers monthly workshops on Money Management and Credit repair and educates potential homebuyers about the financial practices necessary to purchase a house and sustain homeownership long-term.
HOME will continue to provide down payment and closing cost assistance to low-and-moderate income families who have completed its homeownership education and counseling program, and who have the cash flow necessary to handle future mortgage payments.
HOME works to ensure equal access to housing opportunities
by stopping the growing disparity in homeownership rates across racial/ethnic
lines by promoting equal access to this wealth-building opportunity. HOME educates
targeted low-and-moderate income and minority groups in particular who are in need
of education regarding finances & predatory lending to secure long term
HOME increases homeownership rates & wealth-building potential in low & moderate income families. 87% of those served are at or below 80% AMI. Recent studies from the Institute on Assets & Social Policy show that homeownership is the single largest contributor to wealth-building.
foreclosure prevention and intervention program is the largest and most
comprehensive program in Virginia. The level of expertise and sophistication of
our staff have also made our program the most highly respected in the state.
HOME’s trained foreclosure intervention specialists evaluate the situation of
the borrower, collect essential data on the actual condition of their mortgage
loan, and negotiate with lenders and servicers to develop an alternative to
foreclosure that leads to a performing loan and keeps the borrower in their
home. Since 1989, we have counseled more than 5,000 families. In the last five
years, 85 percent of our clients have successfully avoided foreclosure.
the coming year, HOME anticipates it will serve 200 individuals with its
foreclosure prevention and intervention services. HOME also plans to escalate
its outreach endeavors to boost participation in its Foreclosure Prevention program
to help even more Virginians keep their homes. In addition to providing
individual foreclosure prevention counseling and education, HOME also provides
foreclosure information to a large number of individuals utilizing its
extensive website and various other outreach methods through publications.
HOME aims to create strong, stable and economically viable communities through homeowner retention. For every foreclosure and subsequent vacant house in a neighborhood, it's estimated that the value of surrounding homes declines by about 1.8%. HOME’s mitigation of foreclosures will keep families in their homes and prevent the long-term decline of surrounding property values and the locality’s tax base. In the last five years, 85 percent of our clients have successfully avoided foreclosure.
HOME’s research team conducts meaningful, systemic fair housing research and presents statewide analyses and trends. As consultants, this team leverages HOME’s national reputation in fair housing, as well as our staff, to produce revenue for the organization while maintaining our mission focus. HOME’s policy endeavors create change in the housing systems that drive economic, educational, and social opportunities. HOME researches key housing issues and builds partnerships to help influence legislative measures at Virginia’s General Assembly.
The Move to Opportunity Program is about doing just what its name suggests: helping families with Housing Choice Vouchers move to neighborhoods with better opportunities. Where you live impacts nearly every facet of your life, including where you work, where you shop for groceries, and where your children go to school. Simply being closer to your job, or having your children enrolled in a good school, can make all the difference in your quality of life. By working closely with landlords and by empowering voucher holders with the knowledge and tools to become a good tenant, we can help ensure voucher holders find a home in a neighborhood that is right for them and their family.
HOME educates and counsel families to be responsible tenants, encourage them to seek housing in neighborhoods of opportunities, and provide support for families and their landlords following the move. The families that completed the Mobility Program on averaged moved to neighborhoods of opportunity with a 17% poverty rate.
We believe that where you live makes
all the difference and have a long-term goal of deconcentrating poverty. Therefore, we also believe that this program
will help transform voucher holder lives and the lives of their children by
offering a better life in a neighborhood full of more opportunities including:
better job opportunities, good schools, lower crime and more access to
healthier amenities. A 2015 long-term study released by Harvard University on
the causal effect of growing up poor in different localities supports this notion.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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