2016 HomeKeeper Program Recap and 2017 Roadmap
For over five years, HomeKeeper has helped you manage your programs more efficiently and report on your impacts with ease. Through the years, we’ve remained committed to our core belief that better data begets brighter insights, smarter decisions and bigger impacts. And we’ve also learned that better systems means better service, stronger stewardship and of course, happier staff. 2016 was a year of growth for us and we’re excited to share these program updates with you and give you a peek at what’s to come in 2017.
- Our HomeKeeper community continues to expand. We’ve welcomed 10 new users in 2016, and have a total of 71 user organizations currently. This includes 36 Community Land Trusts, 14 Habitat for Humanity affiliates, and six cities.
- More and more Habitat for Humanity affiliates are discovering HomeKeeper. It turns out Habitat affiliates – particularly Family Services teams – love HomeKeeper, but have unique needs like tracking sweat equity activities and mortgages. We’ve started a Habitat peer cohort and have hosted peer-to-peer calls so affiliates can share stories with each other.
- Housing counseling reporting is about to get a whole lot easier. Do you offer housing counseling services? We’ve developed new features so you can track workshops and housing counseling cases, and send 9902 counseling activity data to HUD through HomeKeeper as a HUD certified CMS system.
- You gave us feedback. We delivered a new Resale Wizard. Our latest update was focused on making entering a resale easier, but also included other features and improvements. Not sure if you are using the latest version? Contact us and we’ll make sure you have access to all the newest features.
- You wanted online applications. We helped you get them. Four organizations were selected to participate in our FormAssembly working group. Participants received technical assistance and coaching valued at $4,000 per organization to plan and implement online application forms. Now data is auto-magically forwarded to HomeKeeper from online webforms.
The HomeKeeper National Data Hub
- Your impact is Awesome. Thanks to your hard work, we now have detailed information on almost 6,000 properties in the Hub, and data on over 7,300 purchases. Over 1,000 of your purchase transactions were added to the Hub in 2016 alone. More importantly, over 17,500 individuals live or have lived in your homes and benefited from the transformational opportunities you provide.
- Have you seen your data in a Social Impact dashboard? Fifty-three organizations have contributed data to the HomeKeeper National Data Hub. Are you a HomeKeeper Hub contributor? If so, we’ve continued to maintain and update your interactive Social Impact Report, which benchmarks your data against your peers. We also regularly update the Public Dashboard so anyone can log in and see aggregate data.
- Your data made a difference. It was in large part due to YOUR data in the HomeKeeper Hub that we were able to convince the Federal Housing Finance Agency to incorporate “shared equity homeownership” as a “regulatory activity’ for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to have a duty to serve underserved markets. This should increase access to financing for homebuyers in your programs.
Support and Training
- We’ve helped you strengthen your HomeKeeper superpowers. Have you joined us on one of our webinars lately? We’ve hosted 23 this year, including our monthly New User Q&A and Office Hours, and trainings on property tracking, surviving staff turnover, and pipeline management. Couldn’t attend? View the recordings and see what you missed.
- You asked. We answered. So far, you’ve submitted over 236 tickets in 2016 and we did our best to help you get the information or support you needed.
- Our self-service support forums got a face lift. Support.MyHomeKeeper.org still has the same content that has been there when you needed it most. But now the information you need is easier to find than ever before with improved search capabilities and a cleaner look.
- We’re blogging! Check out our latest news, resources and announcements on our blog at http://myhomekeeper.org/news. This blog is directed at both users and potential users and is a great way to follow our latest activities and learn about our new resources. We also feature stories you’ve shared with us.
- We’ve expanded our HomeKeeper team, so we can become sustainable faster. Valerie Rogers, a former HomeKeeper user, joined us as our Support Specialist. She is focusing on increasing the number of HomeKeeper organizations, so we can keep fees affordable without cutting support or training. Member fees only cover about half the cost of our program, with Grounded Solutions Network subsidizing the rest, in part with grants from the Ford Foundation and Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
- New Organization, Familiar HomeKeeper Program. In 2016, Cornerstone Partnership transitioned away from Capital Impact Partners and integrated with the National Community Land Trust to form Grounded Solutions Network. HomeKeeper is now a program of Grounded Solutions Network. While our parent organization now has a new name and logo, all things HomeKepeer are still as you know it, including our website: MyHomeKeeper.org and our support email: Support@MyHomeKeeper.org.
In 2017 you can expect continued support form us. In particular, we will be:
- Assisting you and connecting you with your peers to ensure you are supported and your program is successful. We will continue with office hours, webinars and email ticketing support, as more fully summarized in our 2017 Training and Support Schedule. Remember, you can always contact us at Support@MyHomeKeeper.org, or sign into our support forums to log a ticket.
- Launching our housing counseling pilot and rollout. We will be launching this feature in Fall 2017. Contact us to get on our list and you’ll be the first to know when it’s available as an add-on feature.
- Releasing HomeKeeper features. We will release a new version of HomeKeeper which will include new features allowing you to track group sessions such as workshops or orientations. We will also be planning for our HomeKeeper upgrade to the salesforce Lightening platform.
- Growing our membership. We hope to add at least 15 new members in 2017, and will continue to target high capacity Habitat for Humanity affiliates and City inclusionary housing programs. Who do you know that might be able to benefit from HomeKeeper?
- Expanding our research capacity. Grounded Solutions has hired Vince Wang, as our in-house Research Manager. He is helping the HomeKeeper team evaluate the data in the HomeKeeper National Data Hub and improve our Social Impact metrics so that you can use our Hub data to support your local partnerships.
Thank you for your continued support and membership. Without your participation, dedication and commitment, the HomeKeeper program would not be possible! – Tiffany, Liz and Valerie