Helping families build a pathway out of poverty.

You may be surprised to learn that almost half of the households in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro pay 30% or more of their income on rent. For some, this means less is available for other basic needs like healthy food, medical care and transportation. To make matters worse, when unexpected life changes happen – such as a job loss, families can be at high risk for eviction and that could mean moving, maybe more than once. 

And so, the ripple affect continues: the more a family moves, the less stable their community connections become, creating stress and negative health outcomes. The result can be even more devastating for children; when kids move from one home to the next, it can result in poor classroom performance, higher dropout rate and programs in early adulthood (such as depression).

When housing is affordable and accessible, studies show that our neighbors thrive. Children do better in school. Seniors are healthier longer and more socially connected. Parents and kids experience more positive mental health. 

Housing Stability in Our Community

 

The primary services offered by many of our funded programs are financial education and budget management classes. UWM housing stability investments offer:

  • Programs that operate on a “two-generation” principle by providing services to both parents and children
  • Programs working to transition formerly homeless families from shelters to more permanent housing
  • Programs that work with families to increase their annual income by accessing local and federal resources, for example, the Earned Income Tax Credit and tax preparation services
    • In 2017, close to 5,000 individuals received free tax services (supported by UWM funding) resulting in more than $10 million in tax returns, $3 million of which was in Earned Income Tax Credits.

These programs create opportunities for families to decrease debt, increase credit scores, secure financial assets and in doing so, build a true pathway out of poverty.

UWM is honored to be awarded grants from the Siemer Institute and Lincoln Financial Group to fund targeted programming to connect families in poverty to stable housing. In 2017, UWM funded programs delivered more than 30,000 services to local individuals and families and helped sustain and maintain their housing. By 2025, UWM will help ensure 65 percent of residents in the Omaha-Council Bluffs community are financially stable so they can support themselves and their families.