The Mutual Assistance Network promotes opportunities for residents to become homeowners. They use the two-fold strategy that uses both people-based and development-based strategies. Historically, there weren’t any new home construction until 2014 when the economy improved. Developers showed interest in the vacant lots, so the project “Del Paso Nuevo” was introduced. The interesting fact about this project was that the streets were names after neighborhood residents that stood out in history, or so-called “neighborhood leaders”.
The Mutual Assistance Network is a part of a mechanism to alleviate gentrification or displacement. The organization is intentional about its outreach to involve the residents to obtain the homes.
Build a bridge
In 2014 they partnered with non -profit developers Desperate Housing INC, which bid for the development of 93 houses. The role of MAN was to establish a bond between the residents and developers, but also represent the cultural and demographic characteristics of the neighborhood. They communicated with residents about the benefits of the specific project.
The organization is sourcing the workforce from the neighborhood itself. The security company was local and the employees were residents of the neighborhood. The cleaning crew was also living in the area.
Bring down the barriers
In the beginnings, the residents felt skeptical about the whole project. The organization needed to bring down the barriers and let them know that they offer a huge list of benefits for everyone that is looking for homeownership rates, longevity, wealth-building, and asset-building.
Education and assistance
The Mutual Assistance Network provides opportunities for the community. They host quarterly homeownership workshops that provide useful information for the community. These are presented by partners that build brand new homes for families. The presentations are about the lending process, credit score, interest rates, programs, and assistance.
Fatima is a liaison for Mutual Assistance Network and the community’s mover and shaker. She is a resident of the neighborhood and dreamed of having her own home there. Fatima took advantage of the home buying process, and today she is a proud homeowner
Yang got her first home thanks to the down payment system programs. She got the proper education, assistance with credits, and credit score improvements, in order to meet requirements. She was able to qualify for a home and got the keys one year ago.