*Recruiting Methods and Working With Families*
Developing a Recruitment PlanStep 1 - Know Your Target Market
a) Where is your targeted market located? Work, church, home, clubs, PTA, etc.
b) What media reaches them? Radio, TV, newspaper, etc.
c) Where do they go and when? Laundromats, gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, daycare, community events
d) Who are your community partners? Social service agencies, lenders, rental agencies, realtors
*Step Two Analyze the InformationReview the data collected to determine where and how to reach most families
Step Three InvestigateContact organizations, employers, churches, radio stations, newspapers, etc.
b) Get the word out about your program!
c) What are your costs? Are there other FREE methods available?
Step Four Plan and Make DecisionsCan you delegate tasks?
b) Do you have to do everything yourself?
c)What are your time frames and dates for objectives?
d) What does your marketing and advertising budget look like?
e) How can you make your program most effective?
f) Refer to Recruitment Methods for some ideas
*Five elements of a good message:1. Attract Attention Create interest
2. Stress Advantages & Benefits of the Self-Help Housing Program
3. Prove What you Say is True
5. Ask for Action
Benefits of Self-Help Housing
a) Means different things to different people
b) Decide which aspects are important to your targeted market
c) Incorporate these aspects into the message
*Sample Chart of Potential BenefitsProduct Stress Advantage
Modern, convenient, well built
Designed to meet your needs
Modern appliancesPrice Stress Value
House payments based on ability to pay
No down payment
Best financing in the country for new construction Self Stress Improvements
Sense of accomplishment
Doing better for yourself
Better and safer environment for family
Develop construction & maintenance skills*
*Benefits of the 502 Loan ProgramEffective interest rate below market rate
Payment is based on income and adjusted annually
Repayment period is 33 or 38 years
No down payment is required
Closing costs can be financed out of the loan
Interest and mortgage payments are deferred during construction
Moratorium - Suspends the borrowers requirement of making monthly payments for up to a 2-year period do to hardship situations (lose job, medical illness, injury, etc.)
*Recruitment Methods to TryNewspapers Both daily and weekly, try free and paid advertising, featured article, ad positioning is critical, classified adds great in some areas, activities announcements
Radio - paid ads, PSAs, talk shows, interviews
Television - featured on the local news, local community forum programs or PSAs
Flyers, Posters, Handouts - simple, easy to read, attractive flyers for public distribution in RD offices, stores, community bulletin boards, restaurant, etc.
Brochures can be the best marketing tool used, place in supermarkets, Laundromats, restaurants, waiting areas, public service facilities
Direct Mailings - can be expensive, may be more rewarding, church mailings, waiting lists for subsidized rental housing, enlist assistance of social service agencies, housing authorities and local employers
*Recruitment Methods to TryCommunity Meetings
Trade Shows, Human Service Fairs, Mall Exhibits, Community Fairs - consider time and effort needed
Organizations, Colleges, Trade Schools, Headstart, Migrant Education Centers
Local governments referrals for families, land, grants
Local employers - post brochures on their bulletin board, stuff employee paycheck envelopes, or set up a table in the break/lunch area
Contact members of low-income - apartment complexes, housing authorities
Host a tenants meeting
*Recruitment Methods Tips
1. Try many options to determine what works best for you
2. Stay in contact with the local media
3. Try the classified ads!
4. Radio stations morning program usually have a larger target listening area
5. TV try to get a local featured interview. Public service announcements (PSA) are free use them!
6. Paper distribution - Flyers, posters, handouts, brochures
7. Develop a list of key points*
*Market ResearchEliminates trial and error in recruitment
Know which methods worked best and are reaching target market
Survey those who have responded to recruitment efforts
Continuously review and revise strategies to keep activities alive
Your goal should be to have word of mouth work for you
Useful GuidelinesDecide on the message must be interesting to target market
Select the media message and intended audience usually drives which media to use
Put it in writing prepare a written release
Mail to the right person and mail by the deadline*
*WORKING WITH FAMILIES*
*Intake and ScreeningFirst contact probably by phone; Ask questions and share information; Plan questions that abide by Fair Housing Laws; Gather the following information: Income, Employment, Credit, Marital Status, Housing, Citizenship, Family SizeGive the following information:1.Self-Help concept2. Participant responsibilities3. Homes will began and be completed at the same time4. Examples of participants work5. No downpayment6. Monthly payments based on income, give range if known7. Loan term8. Be honest and clear9. Maintain a waiting list
*Pre-Construction Educational MeetingsTopics of discussion
Basic banking skills
Maintaining good credit
Selecting building lots and house plans
Homeownership responsibilities and maintenance
Property taxes and insurance
Membership Agreement and teamwork
Construction procedures and techniques *
*Pre-Construction Meeting 1Introduction to Self-Help
What is self-help housing?Who is the sponsoring agency' for the program? Where does the mortgage loan come from?Requirements for participation in the programHow long does it take to build houses?The importance of family labor participationThe cost of houses built by the self-help method
PurposeThis meeting introduces families to the program and answers their questions about how it operates. During this meeting it is important for the Group Worker to provide direct and honest answers to all the questions asked by family members. The Group Worker should be positive, friendly, and professional in order to give families confidence in their ability to build their own homes. Nevertheless, the Group Worker shouldn't understate the commitment required.
ResourcesA pamphlet prepared by the self-help organization describing the self-help program. Also slide shows and other visual aids, if available.*
*Pre-Construction Meeting 2 502 Loan Process
Suggested TopicsRD's 502 Loan eligibility criteriaThe loan application and processing proceduresInterest credit and how it works
Mortgage paymentsLoan servicing by RD in the Local OfficeRD's expectations of the self-help participant & RD's foreclosure policy
This meeting provides families with an in-depth discussion of RD's Rural Housing Loan Program. You should invite the RD Local Specialist to attend this meeting to explain the loan program and answer questions that families will have about mortgage payments. This also gives the Local Specialist an opportunity to indicate that RD expects families to make a commitment to the program by attending group meetings, providing actual labor hours during construction and meeting their obligations after the house is completed by making mortgage payments on time and paying taxes and insurance. RD's participation in the preconstruction process is important to the success of the self-help program because it creates and contributes to a mutual understanding between the self-help organization, RD, and the participant families.
Graphs and other visual aids explaining the 502 loan program. In addition, the GroupWorker can review the requirements for participation with the families.
*Pre-Construction Meeting 3Explanation of Lot Selection and House Plans
Suggested TopicsAvailability of building lotsWhich house plan fits which lotTypes of lots: regular, cul-de-sacLimitations according to family size
PurposeThis meeting begins the process leading toward the completion of the families' loan applications by introducing building lots and house plans.
ResourcesDisplay photographs or drawings of the selected house plan(s) during this meeting. The Construction Supervisor can be introduced at this meeting to explain the house plans under consideration. Maps and subdivision plats (charts showing property boundaries) can also be shown. Encourage families to visit the subdivision and choose their lot of choice prior to the next meeting. (Programs which are building on scattered sites or building lots already owned by the families would emphasize the placement of the house on the building site rather than lot selection.)
*Pre-Construction Meeting 4Selection of Lots and Options
Suggested TopicsExplanation of color schemeReview of items not allowedReview of house plans and building lotsSelection of building lot and color options by each family PurposeTo the participant families, this is probably the most important meeting they have yet to attend. Families will labor for many months to build their houses. The Group Worker must be extremely careful to ensure that each are pleased with their prospective home. An unhappy family member could disrupt the construction phase at a later date. Self-help housing is not a custom home building program. This means that self-help organizations must first decide the number of house plans to offer, the range of colors families can choose from and the kinds of fixtures and appliances families can choose for their homes. It is important for families to understand that the self-help organization has set limits which affect their range of choices. Families who are unable to accept these limitations should not participate in the self-help housing program. Self-help programs may choose to discuss these detailed topics separately with each family, instead of in a group setting, because of the many questions families usually have about these items.
*ResourcesHouse plans, color charts for interior and exterior paints, floor tile and countertop samples, roofing samples, and other color options should be available during this meeting. Subdivision plats and maps should also be available for inspection by families. The Group Worker should use an option and color chart form to record the selections of each family. The items-not-allowed form should be reviewed in detailin order to prevent later misunderstandings between families and RD.
Pre-Construction Meeting 5Membership Agreement and Election of Officers
Suggested TopicsReview and explain the membership agreementReview and explain officers dutiesSelect a name for the associationElect officers
*PurposeThis meeting provides the structure necessary for the continued existence of the association. It begins the process of group formation by establishing a name for the association and by electing group leaders. In addition, it creates the official structure of the program by outlining in the membership agreement, the expectations and penalties for group members.
ResourcesThe membership agreement is the primary resource for this meeting. Each participant should be provided with a copy of it to read and study during the meeting. The officers' duties should be explained and reviewed in detail; a copy of the proper description should be given to the person elected for each position. In addition, the Group Worker can meet with the newly elected officers after the general meeting and distribute and explain the proposed agendas for future meetings. Self-help organizations may choose to discuss the suggested topics in two meetings, instead of one, because of the great number of topics and their importance.
*Pre-Construction Meeting 6Review of Loan Packages and Signing the Necessary Forms
Suggested TopicsReview each family's loan application, house plans and cost estimates, plot plans, and loan docket formsSigning RDs documents, Scheduling the application submission interview
PurposeReview the families loan application packages. Each family should review the documents in their loan package and sign the necessary forms. The Group Worker should make sure the house plans and lots are the same ones selected by the family the previous week. Cost estimates for the houses should be thoroughly reviewed. Each family should indicate a time when they will be able to have an interview with the RD Local Specialist. You should submit the signed applications to RD following this meeting.
ResourcesThe completed loan application packages, (the self-help organization keeps one copy for its files and the original is submitted to RD) should be reviewed by each family. The Group Worker, Construction Supervisor, and Project Director should all attend this meeting. Some programs invite the RD Local Specialist to attend this meeting and to interview the families at this time. This will depend on the willingness of the Local Specialist to attend group meetings. *
*Pre-Construction Meeting 7Property Taxes and lnsurances
Suggested TopicsProperty tax assessments in the local areaProperty tax exemptionsWays of planning and saving for tax paymentsRD property insurance requirementsTypes of insurance coverage available and their costsDefinitions of insurance termsMaking claims against insurance policiesOther types of insurance
PurposeThis meeting is very important to families that have never owned a home. The failure to pay property taxes and property insurance premiums on a timely basis can result in the loss of the house. Group Workers should be sure that participant families understand the importance of making these payments.
Generally, the officers of the self-help association invite the local tax assessor and several insurance agents from the community to address members of the group, explaining these subjects in detail. The Group Worker should also be prepared to answer questions about these topics. Often the Group Worker will have reviewed definitions of the terms at the previous meeting so that the association will be familiar with the "trade vocabulary" before this meeting. It is also important that local business people and government figures attend this meeting to interact with the association and meet members of the group.
Pre-Construction Meeting 8Credit Buying and Budgeting
Suggested TopicsCredit vocabulary and the cost of creditCredit sourcesMaintaining good credit ratingsPurchasing new furnitureHow to plan the use of money, budgeting for mortgage payments, taxes, and insuranceSaving to buy new things for the house
There are two reasons for holding this discussion on credit and budgeting during the pre-construction phase. First, most families want to furnish their new house withne...