Tenants to Homeowners
When energy costs began to rise in Lawrence, Kansas, Tenants to Homeowners recognized that investing in energy efficient homes was crucial for long-term affordability.
Tenants to Homeowners (TTH) serves low-income residents in Lawrence, Kansas by providing safe, accessible and energy efficient housing. TTH was formed in 1992 to address affordable housing issues in their community. In 2005, TTH launched the Lawrence Community Housing Trust (LCHT) Program that rehabilitates old homes and builds new homes. Several community partners are involved that help TTH build affordable and energy efficient homes, such as two community owned financial institutions, Capitol Federal Savings and Loan and Truity Credit Union. They provide prime rate loans for a lower credit score than traditional FHA loans, service the loans at one of their local offices in-house, and waive the traditional home loan application fee for program participants. The city of Lawrence also partners with TTH to provide free first time home buying classes as well as other services.
When energy costs began to rise, TTH recognized that investing in energy efficient homes was crucial. TTH builds new homes that are Energy Star 3 certified, the highest energy star rating. Robert Baker, resource development director, describes how rising utility costs can escalate quickly and impact affordability. TTH knew it was important to invest in Energy Star buildings. As a result, they were the first certified Energy Star builder in Lawrence, Kansas. The homes contribute to long-term affordability and reduce energy costs by approximately $150 per month. In addition, construction site waste is also recycled while homes are being built. Both residents and the quality of the environment benefit from TTH’s energy efficient homes, which reduce energy use and improve affordability.
Baker says that the support of CCHD has, “helped us give good news to the poor.” TTH successfully provides home ownership security, and with assistance from TTH, many people are able to purchase homes. TTH displays how a community can come together to help tenants become homeowners while also focusing on the sustainability and environmental impact of homes.