Due to COVID-19, many families are finding themselves faced with the possibility of eviction or foreclosure. These things can be frightening as an adult, so it is especially scary for kids who might not even be exactly sure what these words mean – which is why you should talk openly about these issues with your children. These are struggles many people with and without children face, the best thing you can do is talk openly about it with your kids. Here’s how:

 

Be honest

It’s important to be honest when speaking with children about sensitive topics like eviction and foreclosure. Don’t hide anything from them, and be sure you answer all of the questions they might have. Of course, you do not have to tell them everything, but giving them some information will allow them to better navigate the situation and is better than leaving them in the dark. 

 

Include them

Another way to extend your conversations with your kids about these topics is by keeping them updated and included in the process. Now, you don’t have to take your child with you to meet with a lawyer, however, it’s important that they know what could be coming next. Try to explain what steps you might be taking soon and how it could affect them. This will allow them to feel more at ease, as they’ll know what to expect, while also teaching them life skills that could come in handy in the future.

 

Provide reassurance

While this can be a difficult time, it’s important that as an adult, you try to have a handle on your own emotions during conversations with your child surrounding these topics. Kids will be scared and anxious, so you should be someone they can turn to with their questions and uncertainties. Be strong for them by acting as you normally would, providing them with the reassurance that although their housing situation might change, you will not. 

 

Consider its impact on them

Above all, be cognizant of the individual changes your child might have to go through, and the significant impact it can have on their lives. It could be more than just moving homes, but potentially moving school districts and leaving a neighborhood of friends and familiar faces. It’s common for us to view kids as resilient, which they are, but we shouldn’t discount the profound impact change can have on their lives

 

It’s important that you remember that these things, although they might feel like it, are NOT the end of the road, and finding yourself with an eviction notice or with your home in danger of foreclosure, has nothing to do with what kind of parent you are, and how much you love your family. Homeownership is still possible, regardless of any setback. Call United Housing today, and we can help you get back on your feet.

Our city is facing an eviction crisis – and you or a loved one might be trying to navigate the process. While local agencies, nonprofits, attorneys and community activists are working to keep people in their homes, it is likely that hundreds, if not thousands, of families will lose their homes over the next few months. 

 

The eviction process can be disheartening, traumatic and confusing. To have the roof over your head taken away from you can lead you down a trail of negative thoughts. But there is still hope – even if you’ve been evicted there are organizations like United Housing that want you to get back on your feet and guide you toward homeownership. 

 

Is homeownership realistic if I’ve been evicted?

Yes. There is no situation where a person cannot start working toward homeownership. Some individuals work toward this goal more quickly than others, but the team at United Housing will support you for as long as it takes to get you into your new home. We can help you build your credit, which might be affected by your eviction if your late payments were turned over to a corrections agency. Then, we’ll help you build a budget so you can save for the home buying expenses. We’ll educate you on the homebuying process and connect you with reputable loan officers. There is a path toward homeownership for everyone. 

 

Why homeownership?

Owning your home creates a more stable environment, one where you’re in control. Homeowners don’t have to answer to landlords or leasing agents, and many feel empowered because they own the place where they live. In Memphis, many of our clients find that the mortgage they pay on a home they own is less than they paid in rent, making budgeting easier for many families while simultaneously providing more space and independence. Homeownership is also an investment in yourself. Every mortgage payment you make is an investment in the future profit you make when you go to sell your home.

 

What does this process look like? 

It starts with asking for help. Our team of trained professionals are here to help assess your situation and provide support. From connecting you with immediate housing support, to creating a credit improvement plan and helping you apply for loans you need, our HUD Housing Counselors and loan officers are here to support. What are you waiting for? Call UHI today at 901-272-1122. 

Aging in place means exactly what it sounds like – growing old in your home. You might have heard older friends or family members express interest in this idea, stating that they’d like to live out their days in the comfort of their home. Why is it that some people set this goal for themselves, and why is it important?

 

While assisted living facilities or nursing homes are an essential option for some seniors, many senior adults aim to stay in their residence for as long as they can. Doing so can maintain their quality of life and sense of independence, encouraging physical health and mental well-being. Even elderly individuals with health issues might still opt to stay home as long as they can access the care they need, because even home-help nurses or remote care can still be less expensive than the costs of living in a long-term care facility.

 

One of the many benefits of owning your own home is the ability to choose to age in place. Of course, everyone is different, and aging in place might not be ideal based on many factors. However, if aging in place is something you or a family member might be interested in, there are steps you can begin to take now. For example, if you already own a home, consider saving up for universal design renovation projects. Universal design is simply adding features to your home that make it more accessible for people with disabilities or older adults. Examples of these renovations include building a ramp as an alternative to front steps or knocking down a wall to create a larger, safer space for wheelchairs or walkers to travel through.


Whether or not aging in place is right for you, simply having the option to stay in your own home is a long-term advantage of homeownership. If you’re interested in learning more about aging in place, the National Institute on Aging has compiled a great list of resources to do so. If you’re interested in owning a home, visit United Housing at www.uhinc.org or call us at 901-272-1122.

Thankfully, many homeowners were granted a period of forbearance due to hardship caused by COVID-19. Eventually, this period of relief will come to an end, leaving many homeowners wondering, “what’s next?”

 

It’s important to keep in mind that your mortgage payments were momentarily halted, not erased. This means you still have to pay back all of the payments that you skipped throughout your forbearance period. 

 

You don’t have to pay them all at once, and you don’t have to pay them all as soon as your period of forbearance comes to a close – although you can if you’re financially able. There are several popular repayment methods that financial institutions use. Start by talking with your loan provider about their preferred repayment plan. If your financial circumstances have changed because of the pandemic, you could even talk to your lender about modifying the terms of your mortgage or refinancing to ensure you’re able to make your payments moving forward.   

 

Even if you have a plan to make the payments missed during your forbearance period, continued pandemic-related hardships such as unemployment or illness might make you feel uncertain about your home’s future. United Housing offers foreclosure counseling, which helps homeowners create a plan to prevent foreclosure by prioritizing mortgage payment. Additionally, there are numerous other resources aimed at helping you avoid foreclosure outlined on the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development website.

 

Hindsight is certainly 2020, but there are lessons that we can apply from COVID-19 to the future. We always recommend homeowners plan for the unexpected. Once you’ve repaid your missed payments, prioritize saving for a “rainy day” fund. This extra money could help you cover food, utilities and mortgage payments in the future should you ever lose your job or experience reduced work. Even if you aren’t currently in need of counseling or assistance programs, we recommend that you always work toward a greater amount of stability in your home – global emergency or not.

There may come a time when you decide your current space isn’t meeting your needs. Whether you need more room or an updated kitchen, you might reach a point when you decide that something has to be done. But how do you decide what to do? Do you make the necessary renovations to your current home, or do you relocate entirely? 

 

Why renovate?

One of the top reasons to renovate rather than move is to keep your home’s location. If you love the area where you live, you don’t give that up for an additional bedroom or closet – you can instead tackle a project that will make your current home better meet your needs. 

 

Another benefit of renovation is customization. When you make renovations, you are able to choose all of the finishes, paint colors and materials to fit your personal style. When you buy, you’re moving into a home finished with someone else’s preferences. On top of that, renovating increases your property value. If you already have equity in your home, it can help you add additional value to your home. If you do have to sell your house one day, a home that has been renovated could sell at a higher price point.

 

Why relocate?

Renovation isn’t for every family or for every home. If you live with family, consider their size now and in the future. Are you planning on having children, or do you have relatives that may move in with you in the next couple of years? If so, you may need more room than a simple renovation project can give you. Similarly, if you live alone you might consider relocating to a downsized space. Relocation can also be beneficial just so that you can avoid the frustrations of renovation – living your normal life in a home that has become a construction site can be difficult, time-consuming and stressful. Purchasing a home also provides you with a new investment, opening up your future for even more opportunity. 

 

While weighing both of your options, it is still important to consider cost. What makes the most financial sense for you and your family? If your current home is already at the top of the price range for your neighborhood, adding new features through renovations won’t have a significant return on your investment. If you don’t have much equity in your current home, selling and buying a new one might be more expensive and can impact the wealth you’ve built. Talk with housing experts at United Housing to discuss your options fully. Give us a call at 901-272-1122.

Facing the possibility of losing your home is frightening, and even more so if you aren’t sure what your next step should be. With unemployment at record levels, and other hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, many Memphians are facing the very real possibility of eviction or foreclosure. So, what do you do if you think you might lose your home?

 

Take action

Start by reviewing the resources provided by Home901 – Memphis and Shelby County’s one-stop housing resource center. If you know that you might not be able to make some rent or mortgage payments, follow the instructions on their resource guide related to your specific situation.

 

Make a payment plan

Contact your mortgage lender or landlord about creating a payment plan. Representatives from United Housing can assist you in creating a plan to pay back the payments you’ve missed and any future ones, too. Additionally, United Housing can help facilitate communication between you and your lender or landlord, ensuring all options are discussed. 

 

Many providers will be open to the idea of a payment plan instead of immediate eviction. In fact, in a survey distributed to landlords in the Memphis area, the Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development found that 81% of landlords were willing to work through an eviction settlement program, waiving eviction and late fees with the promise of a payment plan.

 

Seek support services

Luckily, there are many government programs or nonprofit organizations that can provide you with short-term relief for essential expenses – like childcare, pet food, utilities, transportation and other needs. United Housing can help you determine whether or not you qualify for assistance programs. Saving funds in these areas can help you put money toward your home, which might ultimately prevent eviction or foreclosure. 

 

Make plans for transitional living

Even as you work toward keeping your home, it is wise to look for other living arrangements in case your eviction or foreclosure goes through. We want to empower you – many people go through eviction or foreclosure and find stability through housing on the other side. That’s not said to minimize the trauma and hardship that come with foreclosure and eviction, but it is to assure you that there are pathways forward for you and your family. We can still help make your dream of owning a home a reality.  If you think you are at risk of getting evicted, or if you have any questions, call United Housing at 901-272-1122 today. 

We know that the eviction process can be scary and traumatic, and we want to help. Our team of trained housing experts are here to walk you through the process to help you keep your current home.

The best way to prevent eviction is to reach out for help before you get a notice of eviction from your landlord. If you’re having trouble making your payments, reach out to United Housing at 901-272-1122. We can help you budget to make payments easier, negotiate with your landlord or connect you with available resources in your community.

If you have already received an eviction notice, we can still help. There are a few things that you can do immediately to help you stay in your home. 

Record the date you received your eviction notice.

To help you in the best way possible, we need to know whether your eviction was filed before or after March 2020. COVID-19 protections within the CARES Act apply to evictions filed after late March 2020. We can still help you no matter when your eviction was filed, but the tools we use will be different depending upon your unique situation.

Record your reason for eviction. 

The protections for renters included in the CARES Act state that landlords can’t evict tenants for missing payments for 90 days during the COVID-19 pandemic. Landlords can still file eviction for other reasons, like breaking your lease agreement, destruction of property or illegal activity. We can still help you if you are being evicted for a reason other than missed payments, but we need to know that ahead of time so we can compile the right information to help you.

Gather proof of financial hardship.

Eviction protection in the CARES Act does not require proof of financial hardship to justify missed rent payments, but including this information as we work through your case can help us access support. There are national, state and community programs that can help people who are struggling with finances because of COVID-19. With your proof of financial hardship, you may have access to additional funds that might help you get back on your feet. This proof could include an email from your employer informing you of layoffs because of COVID-19, furlough paperwork, etc.  

Call United Housing. 

Once you’ve compiled your information, give us a call at 901-272-1122. Our team of trained housing counselors can help walk you through the eviction process. We believe that decent, affordable housing is a human right, and we will advocate for you to help you stay in your home.

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P: +1 901.272.1122

2750 Colony Park Drive
Memphis, TN 38118

 

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