What is Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky (HONK)?
Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky (HONK) is a non-profit organization with 25 years of success in guiding families on the path to homeownership. HONK provides affordable housing and homeownership opportunities through a lease-to-own program, offering faith, education, and support to lower income residents of Northern Kentucky.
Where does HONK work?
HONK serves Campbell, Kenton and Boone counties in Northern Kentucky with a special emphasis on the urban core.
How does HONK work?
With the support of our volunteers and partners, HONK builds and rehabilitates homes to create affordable homeownership opportunities for participants in our homeownership program.
Once accepted to the program, HONK residents prepare to become homeowners while living in the home they plan to buy. They make monthly lease payments to HONK. A small part of their payment is set aside to help with the purchase of their HONK home.
With help, HONK residents:
- Learn about the homeownership process, receiving guidance along the way
- Create and maintain a working household budget
- Work to improve their credit
- Get used to the utility costs and maintenance expectations of the home they will purchase
How long is the lease-to-own program?
Some people come to HONK ready to purchase. For others, the process takes 12-18 months.
Who is responsible for the house during the 12-18 month lease-to-own program?
While in the lease-to-own program, residents are responsible for regular maintenance of the home (shoveling the snow, mowing the lawn, changing the furnace filters, etc.).
HONK is responsible for the major systems of the home and its structure.
How are people selected to participate?
Those interested in HONK’s homeownership program must first submit an application. Most HONK opportunities are available to households with incomes at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI). Income guidelines change over time, are dependent on the number of people in the household, and are based on limits published independently by the Dept. for Housing & Urban Development (HUD).
In addition to meeting the income guidelines, prospective homeowners must:
- Have a strong desire to be a homeowner and demonstrate a need for HONK’s help
- Have a steady income that can support a mortgage
- Demonstrate that if they are not currently able to get a loan due to credit, that they have the ability to improve their credit to achieve a loan within 12-18 months
- Demonstrate the ability to live within their means
- Demonstrate through current living space that their home will be properly maintained
HONK participants are required to perform 500 hours of service in:
- Improvement of self and family
- Repair and maintenance of property
- Community and/or church projects
- Helping to stabilize the neighborhood
- Participating in HONK’s program of homeownership
- Assisting others to become homeowners
HONK serves to strike a balance between helping those most in need and ensuring they will succeed as a homeowner in the long run. It must be financially feasible for the prospective homeowner to afford a home within their budget.
What should I expect after I submit my application?
Once the application is returned, a representative from HONK will contact the applicant to discuss next steps and clarify any questions. Should the application look promising an interview is scheduled, at which time the housing process is explained in detail, and any additional questions are answered.
Following the interview, HONK’s Client Selection & Support Committee meets to decide whether an applicant is approved, conditionally approved, or rejected for entrance into the program based on the applicant’s feasibility of homeownership. The applicant is notified in a timely manner of the Committee’s decision.
What are Community Partners?
Community Partners are schools, churches, or other civic organizations that contribute to HONK by donating their time, members, money, or other resources to support our effort to build and rehabilitate homes in the region.
How can I become a volunteer or Community Partner?
To become a volunteer or Community Partner, fill out our convenient online form, or contact us at (859) 581-4665 for more information on available opportunities.
How are donations distributed and used?
Financial donations made to HONK are occasionally matched and always stretched for maximum benefit. As houses sell and the investment is reused, donations are used on future projects. In this way, every contribution is put to use over and over again.
HONK typically finances the construction and/or repair of its projects. Once the resident is approved for a loan from a conventional lending institution, they become a homeowner and exit HONK’s lease-to-own program. HONK’s investment is paid off and that money is put back into new projects.
How can I get more information?
To receive more information on Housing Opportunities of Northern Kentucky, please contact us by phone at (859) 581-4665, or visit us at 502 Fry St. in Covington, KY.