Recently, we had the opportunity to interview Kelsey Thompson, the Education Coordinator at Athens Land Trust. Athens Land Trust is a nonprofit community land trust, which works towards increasing homeownership in Athens-Clarke County by creating housing that is permanently affordable.
One system, not two
Kelsey, like many other housing counselors we have worked with, was using the “free tools” for HUD 9902 reporting. This meant that once a quarter she had to spend several hours to the better part of a day getting the information organized so that they could report to HUD and the state.
Kelsey made the switch to HomeKeeper as part of our Housing counseling Early Adopter program and her organization was one of our first housing counseling users. Kelsey was able to use HomeKeeper and provide us with valuable feedback on what they liked and features they would like to see in the future.
We checked in with Kelsey after she had been using HomeKeeper for housing counseling for a few months and she gave us the following feedback:
“I’m so excited about this new integration of HUD Compliant reporting for housing counseling into HomeKeeper as it allows me to use one system for all of my programs. This is a major improvement in our ability to get the reports we need to manage our programs effectively. The free tools used before had done a good job of maintaining compliance with HUD reporting requirements, but they required entry of a lot of information that is not relevant to my organization. Also, it lets us as a land trust, that also uses HomeKeeper for our homeownership program, incorporate housing counseling information into our homeownership client file. I can pull up one person’s file and see years of work that we’ve done with them.”
If you have you are looking for a new program to manage your affordable housing programs and are frustrated by the finicky tools commonly available to manage housing counseling programs, the good news is that HomeKeeper offers HUD compliant housing counseling reporting. This newer feature set is integrated with the rest of the affordable housing program management capabilities already available with HomeKeeper. According to Kelsey, the integration of homeownership and housing counseling tracking in HomeKeeper is invaluable:
“There’s a lot of transparency within the programs now, especially as we’ve transitioned to HomeKeeper as our housing client management system. We used HCO in the past, but I was the only one seeing that. Now [my colleague] can check in and say, ‘Hey, this lease purchaser has been to counseling every month since she moved in, she’s compliant with her lease. Or hey, why did so and so miss counseling last month…’ He’s able to check in and see that without me having to go to him with that information.”
You can learn more about our housing counseling features here.
Kelly was also featured on a recent e-learning webinar: Cultivating Partnerships and Best Practices for Housing Counseling and Homeownership Programs.