Groundbreaking Power of Home Program Aids First-Time and First-Generation Homeowners

two homeowners sit on the front steps of their brick home

The John Glenn College of Public Affairs has partnered with Framework Homeownership, the organization dedicated to empowering smart and successful homeownership, and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) to transform the homeownership experience for thousands of homeowners by providing unbiased advice, information, access to capital and ongoing support, powered by Keep by Framework.

Backed by a significant investment through the Schmidt Futures’ Alliance for the American Dream competition, as well as funding from The Ohio State University and OHFA, this Power of Home initiative — a first-of-its-kind program led by Glenn College Associate Professor Stephanie Moulton — aims to help Ohio homeowners on the edge of the middle class by giving them the tools needed to increase homeownership sustainability, an issue made increasingly acute during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participation will contribute to Ohio State’s longitudinal research in evaluating the impact of the program on homeowner wellbeing. The data and research will be published to advance public knowledge about homeownership.

“One-third of homeowners are unable to pay for an unexpected repair. We are transforming the homeownership experience by creating best-in-class tools that use what we know about how people make decisions,” said Stephanie Moulton, Glenn College associate professor. “In essence, Power of Home is about information and technology expertise combined with data and research.”

“We don’t achieve the ‘American dream’ when we sign a mortgage document,” said Danielle Samalin, CEO of Framework. “Rather, the ‘American dream’ depends on homeowners reaping the long-term benefits homeownership provides. Framework is proud to participate in the Power of Home program and support this partnership by providing a critical, unbiased and trusted source of information to vulnerable homeowners.”

Power of Home offers a one-stop app with:

  • Easy access to search over 300 state and local grants and loans to fund maintenance, repair and energy efficiency work on their home.
  • Guidance from a team of home experts to answer questions and provide unbiased advice.
  • A comprehensive and easy to understand set of content to learn about the responsibilities of homeownership and assess and plan for home maintenance needs.
  • An organizational system to keep track of home warranties, create and manage to-do lists and learn about important topics, such as budgeting for home repairs.
  • Free ongoing, one-on-one financial coaching and counseling services for struggling homeowners to reduce consumer debt from counselors at Apprisen.

  • "A core component of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency's mission is to help qualifying Ohio homebuyers receive the financial help to purchase a safe and affordable place to live,” said OHFA interim Executive Director Shawn Smith. “We are pleased to partner with the Power of Home as it strives to help Ohio homeowners protect their largest investment.”

    For new homeowners with low incomes and limited savings—many of whom may be first-generation homeowners—the home can become a financial drain and source of stress. A recent survey conducted by Framework shows that 53% of first-time homeowners cited maintaining their home as the biggest challenge they faced in their first year. A 2020 Bankrate survey revealed that 63% of millennial homeowners have regrets about their purchase: the most common being unexpected or hidden maintenance costs.

    Natasha Bishop, Director of Operations and Development at Apprisen, which is providing Power of Home participants access to free, one-on-one financial coaching and counseling services, said: “Our programs empower individuals to take charge of their financial lives and reach a higher level of financial well-being. Collaborations like this ensure that our services reach those who need them most and create a greater impact than we could ever create alone."

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