It’s the end of summer, and yes, we are still in pandemic protocol with our staff working from home and office as needed for these past 6 months. Our offices mostly remain closed to the public with appointments only for those needing to meet in person. All in all, this remote system has worked very well, and we have been able to continue with most of our programs right along.
We were fortunate to have many of our systems in place well before the pandemic became an issue. All of our office phones automatically forward to our respective remote locations when not answered after a few rings. So, we are essentially “in the office” 24-7 for our customer’s convenience. Our counseling programs are mostly one-on-one via phone, and that has continued to work very well.
Our education programs have been stymied a bit, but our Homebuyer Education Program has been available online through e-Home America for several years. Customers can get a special discount code from us to bring the cost down to just $49 for the 6 – 8 hour class. Students work at their own pace, and they can start, stop and restart at their own convenience to finish the class. E-Home is also working on an updated Financial Education course that we plan to promote to those needing to improve their finances in order to become homeownership ready.
Our construction programs have continued right along, with our Legacy Square subdivision in East Waco now almost complete and other new homes in various locations around Waco. The infrastructure for our new duplex subdivision in South Waco, Belmont Village, has been completed, and we now have new homes coming out of the ground. When completed, NeighborWorks Waco will own and manage 14 new duplexes with 28 total 2-bedroom, 2-bath units. The entire subdivision will include 27 duplexes with a total of 54 2-bedroom, 2-bath units. We will be managing the homeowners association, and we will maintain all of the yards and common areas for this wonderful new neighborhood.
Lastly, I would like to congratulate our three homeownership counselors for successfully becoming certified HUD counselors. Well done, Delisa Burnell-Smith, Chris Qualls, and Juan Tello! Our offices now meet HUD’s new guidelines for housing counselors!