Housing Resource Center helps create safe, healthy neighborhoods
While many local organizations provide housing assistance for those in need, many residents don’t have the knowledge or ability to take advantage of those resources. That’s where the City of Temple’s Housing Resource Center comes in.
“One of the things that we heard was that all of our partner agencies are located outside of Temple, so it was hard for our clients to get there,” said Nancy Glover, the city’s Director of Housing and Community Development. “Residents were looking for a central place where they could come, fill out paperwork and get information about available programs.”
Located within the Historic Post Office at 101 N. Main St., the Housing Resource Center provides assisting organizations with a space to meet clients.
“We created this central hub with several different work stations set up so agencies could meet privately with clients,” Glover said. “Accessibility for our clients is the name of the game for us – the ability for them to know that they don’t have to travel half an hour to get the resources they need.”
Glover said many clients of the Housing Resource Center don’t have access to internet or reliable transportation, so having an accessible physical location is a necessity.
“They don’t all have access to the internet or the knowledge of using the internet, and it just creates a barrier for them,” Glover said. “We are all about trying to remove barriers and make things as easy as possible, providing direct access to assistance agencies and getting people help as quickly as possible.”
Through connections with local organizations, the Housing Resource Center connects residents to programs that offer homebuyer assistance and financial counseling. Additionally, the department’s Home Repair Program leverages local and federal grant funding to help residents make necessary home repairs.
“We are focused on essential needs – running water, electricity and patching the holes in the roof,” said Ron Germann, the city’s Neighborhood Revitalization Manager. “Our role is to get people where they’re living in a safe, functional home.”
Most of the clients the department encounters have some sort of roadblock that requires them to seek assistance.
“Most of our clients do not have the physical or financial ability to do these repairs to their home. It’s not that they don’t want to or that they wouldn’t if they had the means and the ability,” Glover said. “That’s really the demographic that we’re focusing on with these programs.”
However, the department has a goal of developing a Home Maintenance Academy that would teach basic home repair skills.
“That would be geared toward those who do have the ability and just need someone to teach them how to do it – they have the physical and financial ability, but they just don’t have the skills,” Glover said.
While many of the current programs have certain eligibility requirements, Glover encourages residents reach out with their needs and refer neighbors who may also be in need of assistance.
“While we can’t do everything, we try to do what we can,” Glover said. “We encourage people to come talk to us and learn what resources are available.”
For more information about the Housing Resource Center, visit templetx.gov/hrc or call 254-298-5999.