GCCAC believes that one of the best ways to become financially self-sufficient is to build assets. Assets are things you own that can increase in value over time. One type of asset is a house. Homeownership is a goal that many clients work towards, and, so far, over 300 low-income families have achieved in the last 15 years in Garrett County through the First Time Home Buyers Program, administered by GCCAC.
Once a home is purchased, it is important to maintain it and make the necessary repairs to keep it a safe and healthy place to live. GCCAC offers Home Repair and Rehabilitation grants and loans to assist homeowners in making repairs to their homes. The agency also runs a Weatherization program so that weatherization measures can be installed in eligible low-income homes. Weatherizing homes can increase their value, and can also lower energy bills, thereby increasing assets (cash) for homeowners. Income-eligible homeowners who have difficulty paying their energy bills can apply for Energy Assistance. GCCAC also employs a full-time Energy Specialist who can counsel homeowners who have questions about energy conservation and alternative and renewable energy systems.
From time to time, homeowners may find themselves in the difficult position of impending foreclosure of their homes. A Foreclosure Prevention counselor is ready to assist homeowners who are facing foreclosure. Preventing foreclosure is a way of preserving homeownership which is another way of assisting clients in maintaining the equity (wealth) they have in their homes.