Manna, Inc. is a faith- and community-based development organization that seeks to rebuild neighborhoods and preserve diversity through affordable homeownership, training, and community-building for low-income families throughout Washington, DC. Manna acquires and renovates existing homes, builds houses, provides assistance to new homeowners, and operates a revolving loan fund to provide funding for projects. Since 1982, Manna has created or renovated nearly 1,000 homes.
Manna Inc. has work focusing in three main areas: renovating or building affordable homes, educating first-time homebuyers for the process of home purchase and for success as homeowners, and training first-time homeowners and their neighbors to become community leaders. Manna has also created a consulting practice to provide technical assistance to other nonprofits that do not have the same expertise that Manna has. Services include:
Homeownership: Manna develops and sells 35 - 55 units of affordable housing annually.
Homebuyer Education: Through its "Homebuyers Club", which has been replicated across the country more than 200 times, Manna provides homebuyer education and financial literacy training to 150 - 200 lower-income families, of whom 15 to 20 purchase homes each year. In addition, its Individual Development Account program, which provides $3 for every $1 of savings, serves 45 families every year as they save toward a down payment.
Individual Development Account (IDA) Program: low income families are required to save an agreed amount per month towards the purchase of their home and the savings are matched at a predetermined ratio after a given period of time. To participate in the IDA Program, individuals must meet a set of requirements and complete Manna's Financial Literacy Training Program.
Manna Mortgage Corp: In 2003, Manna incorporated Washington's only nonprofit licensed mortgage company to offer home purchase and refinance loans targeted to traditionally underserved markets and individuals with non-traditional credit profiles.
Manna serves urban communities in Washington, DC and nearly all of its clients are ethnic minorities, 80 percent of whom are African-American and 15 percent Latino. Approximately 75 percent of its services benefit female-headed households. In addition, 95 percent of Manna's clients have a household income at or below 80 percent of the region's median income level.
In 2007, Manna directly served 1,202 people through the following: affordable housing development and sales (122); homebuyer education (281); post-purchase counseling in budgeting, governance, and homeowner association operations (84); mortgage loan production and counseling programs (666); and organizing tenants for affordable housing preservation (49). Manna also provides technical assistance to support design, construction, sales and marketing to help other non profits accomplish their missions. Manna Mortgage has become known citywide for its expertise in affordable lending and assisting government agencies, helping to educate the public about subprime loans, and assisting AARP and some senior citizens to resolve their cases against predatory lenders.
"I'm the new spokesperson for Manna," remarks new homeowner Sandy Romero. "Everyone that I meet, I tell them about Manna and my experience." Before she was introduced to Manna, the Romero family was struggling with credit card bills and a recent layoff in the family. In 2003, the family was informed that their apartment building was being turned into luxury condominiums. Not knowing what to do, the Romero's turned to their neighbor for advice who pointed them to Manna and the possibility of homeownership. Manna provided the Romero's with the necessary services to become homeowners. Although intimidated at first, Sandy now serves on the Board of Directors, providing her with the opportunity to speak for homeowners and join a team with a mission of providing affordable housing in DC. Full Story