SAVE A HOUSE/MAKE A HOME FAQs

Save a House overview | FAQs | Resources

1. Why does The Fuller Center for Housing have the Save a House/Make a Home initiative?
2. How can financial institutions, such as banks and other lending organizations, benefit from transferring ownership of properties to The Fuller Center for Housing?
3. Are there other benefits to donating such properties?
4. Are there public relations benefits to donating?
5. Will any of these houses be “flipped” to generate funds for The Fuller Center for Housing?
6. What kind of homes is The Fuller Center looking for?
7. How do we know the houses will go to families who need them and will take care of them?
8. How does this benefit communities beyond a single family?
9. How can I find out if there is a Fuller Center for Housing covenant partner near me and how to contact them?
10. Whom should I contact for more specific information?

1. Why does The Fuller Center for Housing have the Save a House/Make a Home initiative?
There are more than 18 million vacant homes in the United States. At the same time, nearly 6 million American families life in poverty housing, not counting those who are homeless or live with relatives or friends. The Save a House/Make a Home initiative is where the glut and the need meet in a way that benefits both financial institutions and families. With the amount of vacant houses on the market, it makes more sense for us to repair these homes when possible instead of building new Fuller Center homes.

2. How can financial institutions, such as banks and other lending organizations, benefit from transferring ownership of properties to The Fuller Center for Housing?

While some foreclosed and vacant properties are valuable assets, others are burdens to financial institutions who have to shoulder the costs of maintenance, taxes and insurance while in their possession. By donating these properties to The Fuller Center, institutions can relieve themselves of these burdens in a way that makes them comfortable that the houses will be put to good use in ways that lift families and communities while at the same time allowing financial institutions to focus on assets with more profit potential.

3. Are there other benefits to donating such properties?

Yes. In addition to improving the community and enhancing neighborhood housing values by filling vacant homes with families who will maintain them, financial institutions which are examined under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) would receive favorable consideration from regulators under the investment test for donating these properties to nonprofit housing organizations along with the monetary resources to complete the renovations and fund the administrative costs associated with them.

4. Are there public relations benefits to donating?
Absolutely. Though it may have been unfair to most, many financial institutions and local governments suffered damage to their reputations in the wake of America’s mortgage crisis. Participating in the Save a House/Make a Home initiative is a positive public relations strategy that will enhance public perception and generate positive press. The Fuller Center is committed to working with institutions to make sure their generous donations are well-publicized.

5. Will any of these houses be “flipped” to generate funds for The Fuller Center for Housing?

No. The Fuller Center’s mission is to house families, and all houses donated to the Save a House/Make a Home will be used exclusively as a home for a new Fuller Center partner family, who are carefully selected by local family selection committees who analyze families’ needs and abilities to pay zero-percent mortgages through The Fuller Center. Funds from these mortgages stay in the community to help other families achieve the dream of owning a safe and decent home.

6. What kind of homes is The Fuller Center looking for?
Our mission is to help families achieve simple, safe, decent and affordable housing. Some properties may be beyond salvagable, while others may have amenities, value and square footage beyond our mission. Homes we would like to acquire will be modest in size, and the total cost of renovation should be less than 50 percent of what it would cost to build a new Fuller Center home of the same size. New Fuller Center houses are generally between 900 square feet (two bedrooms and one bathroom) and 1,250 square feet (four bedrooms and one to two bathrooms).

7. How do we know the houses will go to families who need them and will take care of them?
Partner families are chosen by local Fuller Center covenant partners after application and evaluation. Homeowners must be unable to obtain a conventional home loan or mortgage before we consider their application. They also must be full partners in the building process. Just as they would for a new home, they are required to “sweat equity” toward a new home (some of which can be done by family members) including volunteering on their home, other Fuller Center projects and administrative tasks, attending mandatory homeownership classes or by doing volunteer work with approved area nonprofits. We have found that this partnership enhances pride in homeownership.

8. How does this benefit communities beyond a single family?
In addition to lifting neighborhood pride and surrounding property values, it stems the ripple effects of poverty housing. Where poverty housing is rampant, so is crime, drug use, prostitution and educational failure. In communities where we have been able to complete multiple build projects, we have seen drops in crime, drug use and prostitution along with gains in education and quality of life. Cleaning up these homes will prevent further deterioration and vandalism in the surrounding neighborhood. Helping to stabilize or lift area home prices also will help slow foreclosures by helping families who are underwater on their mortgages. Please click here to see some of our many success stories.

9. How can I find out if there is a Fuller Center for Housing covenant partner near me and how to contact them?
We have about 60 covenant partners across the United States. Each is led by local volunteers. Please click here to see a directory.

10. Whom should I contact for more specific information?
You can email Fuller Center Director of U.S. Field Operations Kirk Lyman-Barner at kirk@fullercenter.org or call 229-924-2900.