Frequently Asked Questions
- Are Homes for Hearts and A Lee Dog Story giving away homes in Memphis?
No. We provide a home for Memphians experiencing chronic homelessness. We offer our residents a 6 month lease to transition into the home to make sure they love the home and location and wish to move toward homeownership once their lease is completed. Homes for Hearts will help Memphians with low-income and very-low income gain a modest asset, and move above the poverty line.
- How does Homes for Hearts choose a resident?
Homes for Hearts has partnered with Room in the Inn Memphis to help with the vetting and case management of each of our residents. Vetting is based on relationship building and willingness to work toward sustainability and homeownership. Room in the Inn helps keep our residents connected to the resources they are in need of while transitioning toward our homebuyer program.
- How does your homeownership program work?
After a resident has completed their transition, we then offer a no profit, no interest mortgage that costs no more than 20-30% of average median income. Payments cost as little as $300 – $375 monthly, depending on the cost of the home, location and lot size. This includes the mortgage, taxes, insurance and escrow and allows homebuyers to pay their home off in 12 years on average. Homes for Hearts works with our Memphis partners to find steady employment for each resident.
- How do you keep the homes from getting into investor’s hands?
Homebuyers are not allowed to rent or sublease the home during the homebuying process. Once a homebuyer owns their home and they wish to sell it, they must give us the first option to buy back at a fair market value. This allows us to find a new resident for the home, and keep the home affordable for years to come. The buyback price of the home must allow for a new Homes for Hearts resident to move in, and spend no more than 20-30% average median income toward housing. If the home is located in the Binghampton neighborhood, then our partners Binghampton Community Land Trust will own the land and the homebuyer will own the home. Again, this allows us to keep the home affordable and in our community’s hands for years to come. We hope our residents love the affordability and comfort of their home enough to keep it forever.
- What if a homebuyer decides they don’t wish to buy the house after already making mortgage payments?
If at any point in this process after a homebuyer begins making payments, they decide homeownership is not for them or no longer like the home and wish to move out, then Homes for Hearts will return their principal payments in full. This will provide residents with a stepping stone toward their next place of residence, and give a new resident a chance to transition into the home.
- Do you work with government funding?
No. We currently do not work with any government funding and are relying solely on private funding. Homes for Hearts will accept government funds as long as they have no conditions that would violate our principles or limit our ability to provide permanent, sustainable, cost-effective, affordable housing with a clear path toward homeownership.
- What helps make Homes for Hearts sustainable?
All principal payments we receive from homebuyers will go right back into building new, sustainable and affordable housing for Memphis, TN.
- Where does Homes for Hearts build?
Homes for Hearts is a nonprofit housing organization working in the Memphis, TN community. Homes for Hearts’ vision is of a more sustainable and affordable Memphis for everyone and every neighborhood. Homes for Hearts works toward our vision by building cost-effective small, single-family homes, community, sustainability and self-governance in partnership with people experiencing chronic homelessness and in need of a livable, sustainable and affordable home.
9. Does any staff, board members or directors at Homes for Hearts get a salary or any compensation?
None of our board members, or directors receive any form of compensation, and we do not currently have any paid staff. This is a grassroots project by Memphis for Memphis and we cannot do it without our partners and your continued support. As we continue this journey with you Memphis, we will remain transparent with our financials. Thank you for helping us build our city we love so dearly. If you would like to request financial documents, please reach out!
10. Is Homes for Hearts a tax-exempt nonprofit organization?
Yes. We are a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit 85-2299402
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