DS News

DS News December 2020

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

Issue link: http://digital.dsnews.com/i/1315468

Contents of this Issue


Page 63 of 100

62 Feature By: David Wharton to just come in and paint a house when there's a major plumbing leak. We want to do the most impactful work that we can and that our funding allows." While the outbreak of a global health crisis tossed a wrench into the spokes of the organization's standard procedure book, it certainly didn't slow demand. With millions of Americans out of work due to COVID-19 and the related economic fallout, the extra spending money needed for home repair—even critical ones—was often in short supply. is made Rebuilding Together's mission more important than ever, even as the harsh realities of COVID-19 made achieving those goals more complicated than ever. Jones told DS News that the group receives an average of seven to 10 applications per week, in addition to referrals through the city of Dallas, other nonprofits, and other sources. Jones said that, even in the face of the pandemic, the group still tackles each potential project from the same starting point: where can they make the most impact in the time and with the resources available? In addition to considering specific requests from the application process, the group evaluates each new home using a 25-point checklist to help prioritize what needs to be done, and in what order. "Typically, the homeowners we help have been in their homes for a long time," Jones said. "ey're fully aware of their home, and maybe they used to take great care of it and they're just not able to anymore for whatever reason, financial or physical or a combination of both." Chuck Wright, President of Provident Realty, has worked with Rebuilding Together North Texas for about two years, including on Morgan's home mentioned in the opening of this piece. He told DS News that the basic timetable is the primary challenge for these projects. "We do not want the client to suffer too much interference or disruption of their daily life. If we can transform their space quickly and painlessly, they can experience the full impact of their new repairs as smoothly as possible," he explained. Roofs and floors are commonly prioritized, as well as providing or upgrading home accessibility features such as wheelchair ramps or bathroom grab bars, which can make a huge difference for homeowners with a disability. "We want people to age in place," Jones said. "We want people to be safe in their homes." Jones added that even something that doesn't initially seem to be a safety issue could present obstacles for the elderly or those with a disability. "Flooring is a big thing," Jones said, noting that "lots of old carpet just is not safe." e group typically swaps out such dangerous flooring with a vinyl plank floor, providing a smooth surface with no tripping hazards. Unlike carpeting, it will not soak up contaminants and pollutants. "We do just about anything on a house other than the foundation," Jones added. "We would love to do what you see on Extreme Home Makeover, but that's not who we are. We try to make the biggest impact with what we have." AN ATYPICAL YEAR Normally, the month of April would be a huge focus for Rebuilding Together North Texas. at's when the group would participate in National Rebuilding Day, hosted on the last Saturday of April. at's part of National Rebuilding Month, which spans the breadth of April and sometimes spills over into May as well. Jones said he estimated that, during that period, the group typically helped refurbish one home every other day. "When I first started, it was a multiday event with lots of houses and lots of logistics," Kuhs said. "I thoroughly enjoyed that—getting all the pieces of the puzzle to come together on a big scale." Beginning each September 11 and then running through Veteran's Day on November 11, the group shifts focus to their "Rebuilding for Heroes" program, which focuses on aiding veterans and military widows. Unfortunately, April of 2020 was not your typical National Rebuilding Month. With the coronavirus wave surging over the country, resulting in widespread lockdowns, a massive shift to remote working, and the introduction of phrases like "socially distanced" to everyone's daily lexicons. Nor would the "We don't want to just come in and paint a house when there's a major plumbing leak. We want to do the most impactful work that we can and that our funding allows." —Garett Jones, Executive Director, Rebuilding Together North Texas

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of DS News - DS News December 2020