Basic needs are offered by the community action agency known as Harvest America Corporation. Case managers from the not for profit organization can help low income families apply for financial aid. Several other self-sufficiency services are administered as well, such as mortgage assistance, education, job training and literacy.
Qualified low income, unemployed, and working poor families can receive financial counseling, budgeting, and also, as indicated, financial aid for expenses such as rent or heating bills. All of the funding and resources levels are limited, but the agency will do its best to meet the needs of families in South Wyandotte, Barton, Ellis, Ford, Grant, Finney, Seward, Sherman, and the city of Wichita Kansas.
Homeownership programs from Harvest America Corporation, which is a HUD approved agency, can help residents and first time buyers both achieve and sustain homeownership. This ranges from resources such as information on mortgage assistance, details on down payments, and free foreclosure counseling. Especially in today's economy, it is very important to learn about key housing issues and challenges. Consumers need to make strong financial decisions, and even understand your options when it comes to the largest purchase most of us will ever make, that being a new or used home.
The metropolitan and rural offices of Harvest America Corporation extend these various housing services throughout the area of Kansas including the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. These free or very low cost homeownership programs prepare those from the area that have only dreamed in the past of home ownership. The community action agency will help them take the necessary steps of counseling and education that can make owning their own first home a reality.
Services, such as foreclosure prevention and information on the buying process, were originally developed specifically to help low income communities of Wyandotte, Grant, and nearby counties. However they have been extended to more moderate income families too. Through the free HUD approved financial counseling and education services, the agency will help consumers achieve financial stability through improved money management skills, credit counseling, debt reduction and general financial management.
Counseling is also available to those that have completed the Homeownership class. Clients will be will be eligible to work one on one with a certified housing counselor to develop an individualized homeownership action plan.
Together you will address issues such as information on home purchase, counselors will assist you in planning your finances, and help people understand your credit. The specialists will assist also consumers with accessing and comparing mortgage and loan products. If needed, the advice and counseling will assist with establishing and improving credit and reducing debts. Get help in applying for special loan programs that may available in Kansas or nationwide, including federal governmental back loans. Counselors from Harvest America Corporation work with clients for as long as needed until you achieve your goal of homeownership.
Foreclosure counseling is available as well in cases involving late payments or mortgage default. Homeownership counselors from the non-profit will review your specific case and answer questions that the client may have. If you decide to work with the HUD agency and take steps to prevent a foreclosure of your home, the community action agency will contact the banks and lenders on your behalf and negotiate.
Specialists will attempt to obtain some form of negotiated agreement to avoid the loss of your home and stop the foreclosure proceedings. Examples of what may occur include options such as loan modifications, refinancing and executing forbearance agreements or entering into payment plans. As part of this process, they review your credit scores. Clients can also receive details on how much house you can afford based on your income, receive eligibility for down payment assistance or government mortgage modifications, and other special programs for first-time homebuyers.
Whether you are buying your first home or getting help with a foreclosure, clients of the organization will leave with a set of goals and an Action Plan designed just for you. The assistance available in Wyandotte County and Wichita is extensive. Telephone number is 913-342-2121.
Rental assistance or subsidies can be offered from the Harvest America HOME TBRA Program. This is available in several counties of Western Kansas, such as Barton, Seward, and Ford. The federally funded TBRA - Tenant Based Rental Assistance program is designed to help income-eligible households with paying expenses such as security deposits, rent, and/or utility deposit programs.
Financial assistance paid out in the form of a housing payment helps reduce a household’s monthly rent expense to only 30 percent of their income. Any amount that is due for their rent that is above 30 percent is paid directly to the landlord on behalf of the household. A short term loan or cash grant may be paid out from Tenant Based Rental Assistance and this will be for security or utility deposits.
Utility bill assistance is also available in Kansas from Harvest America Corporation and the LIEAP program. This is a federal government funded program that helps qualified low income and working poor households pay for home energy bills and expenses. The focus is on heating and gas bills during the winter months. A formal application process is in place and people need to have a social security number, proof of income, name of their utility company, and more documentation. To learn more or apply, call 1-866-445-4327.
Budgeting and Financial Education for Youth will help clients understand money management and improve those skills. Starting on a strong foundation at a younger age is critical. Instead of learning over the years from costly mistakes, the younger generation can benefit from classes and an orientation of basic financial literacy. Studies show that early financial education helps people avoid serious consequences such as excessive debt, spending habits that result in poor credit ratings and scores. It may also help reduce the number of denials of credit for homes, cars and other major purchases.
The non-profit organization Harvest America offers financial literacy education for youth and teenagers ages 15 and above. Some of the classes offered include professional speakers, partnerships with credit counseling agencies, and also interactive projects to reinforce learning. The workshops and classes provide opportunities for practice and activities that reinforce topics such as understanding and building credit, paying for higher education, developing a spending plan, avoiding financial scams and traps, planning financial goals, and also opening and managing savings and checking accounts.
Harvest America Corporation operates from several offices in the area. The main centers are as follows.
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