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Thrive with Wayne Metro

Thriving children, families, and communities is the ultimate goal of Wayne Metro’s Empowerment Pathway and the destination on the path is focused on achieving long-term goals. For many low income people building wealth or owning assets like a home may seem beyond reach. But through help and supports with budgeting, credit repair, and savings strategies, those dreams are becoming reality every day in Wayne County. Through Wayne Metro financial coaching and education. home ownership guidance, and financial management tools, individuals with low incomes are becoming financial stability, fiscally independent and long-lasting success are becoming reality.

Financial Coaching

Wayne Metro’s Financial Empowerment Center (FEC) provides free financial coaching to help families and individuals improve their financial situations. When you engage in this program, you will be given the knowledge and guidance you need to increase your credit scores, net income, and net worth. You will:

  • Receive a personal financial review to locate any benefits for which you may qualify
  • Participate in one-on-one financial coaching
  • Learn how to improve your credit score
  • Get connected with financial services
  • Have opportunities to attend financial workshops

There are two types of regularly scheduled financial workshops; please click to register:

Foundations of Wealth Building and 45 Minute Pathway to Wealth.

For more information about Wayne Metro’s Financial Empowerment Center, to submit an information request, to speak with an FEC representative, or to schedule an appointment to meet with a financial coach, please contact the Wayne Metro Call Center at 313-388-9799.

Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS)

Wayne Metro’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program helps families with Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV or Section-8) obtain and maintain living wage employment and reduce family dependence on public assistance. The FSS program provides families with long-term support, financial education, and guidance to become self-sufficient and independent. The FSS Program does not assist families with obtaining Housing Choice Vouchers (Section-8). To be eligible a family must already have a voucher with our partner housing authorities (see below).

Once you are accepted into the FSS Program, you will sign a Contract of Participation. This contract means that Wayne Metro will provide you and your family with five years of free case management services provided that all of the program requirements are met. Before being accepted into the program you will list your life goals and state your ability and willingness to obtain and/or maintain employment in an application. The FSS Program provides special financial incentives to those who work and succeed in increasing their earned income.

As HCV families know, Housing Choice Vouchers are income based so any increase in your earned income will result in an increase in your portion of rent. When a HCV family enrolls in the FSS Program the difference between the increased portion of rent and the original portion will be put into a special savings account and held in escrow for the family by the Public Housing Authority (PHA). The money put into the special savings account and held in escrow will be given to you and your family when you successfully complete the FSS Program!

Wayne Metro partners with and provides FSS services for Plymouth and Westland Housing Commissions as well as the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) for Wayne and Washtenaw Counties. If you have an HCV program voucher through any of these Public Housing Authorities contact our Connect Center for more information on how to apply.

For more information on the Westland or Plymouth Housing FSS Programs, please click the following links to submit your information. An FSS Resource Coordinator will contact you soon.

For more information, please contact the Wayne Metro Connect Call Center at 313-388-9799.

If you live in River Rouge Public Housing you can take advantage of the Resident Opportunity and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) program designed to provide public housing residents with individualized case management and resource coordination to meet their goals and/or age in place. The ROSS Coordinator will work with you to develop a personal action plan that will help you achieve your short-term and long-term goals and improve your overall stability.

The ROSS Coordinator will connect you to special opportunities to help you develop your money management skills, increase wealth, and work toward financial independence. For seniors and people with disabilities the ROSS Coordinator will guide you to the resources you need to live independently and avoid assisted living for as long as possible. Depending on your goals you will have access to one-on-one financial coaching, ways to improve your credit, employment & training activities, nutrition classes, free tax preparation, fun community activities and MORE!

If you would like more information about the ROSS Program, click here to submit an information request and a resource coordinator will follow-up with you.

For more information, please contact the Wayne Metro Call Center at 313-388-9799.


Foreclosure Intervention

Wayne Metro’s Foreclosure Intervention Program provides no cost assistance and support to individuals and families that are struggling to keep up with their mortgage and tax payments, facing the possibility of foreclosure, or simply need a more affordable housing option.

As a HUD and Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Certified Counseling Agency, one of our qualified and experienced housing counselors will provide you with education and guidance to help you understand the foreclosure process and identify different options available to you.

The Foreclosure Intervention Program will teach you about:

  • Foreclosure timelines and rules
  • Your legal rights during the foreclosure process
  • Foreclosure prevention tips
  • Mortgage modification options
  • Redemption period options
  • Short sales
  • Sheriff sales

Wayne Metro’s Foreclosure Intervention Program is open to anyone who owns a home in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe, or Washtenaw County.

Step Forward Michigan – Helping Michigan’s Hardest-Hit Homeowners

Wayne Metro is a proud partner of the Michigan’s Hardest Hit Fund and Step Forward Michigan Portal. This fund is designed to help homeowners who have experienced a financial hardship and are in default or at a risk of defaulting on their mortgage, or facing property tax foreclosure. Please visit the Step Forward Michigan website to determine if you are eligible for this assistance program and select Wayne Metro Community Action Agency as your counseling agency.

Foreclosure Intervention Documents:

Additional Resources:

For more information, please contact the Wayne Metro Call Center at 313-388-9799 or 734-284-6999.


Home Ownership

Wayne Metro - Own My Own Home

Wayne Metro provides homeownership counseling, education, and assistance for residents of Wayne County. We also partner with several local lending institutions that offer additional down payment assistance programs and grants.  Register for an orientation session today.

Rent Vs. Own

The Rent vs. Own comparison below shows the financial breakdown of a Wayne Metro client who transitioned from renting to owning a home and is now saving money every month!

Wayne Metro - Rent vs. Home Ownership

Below are some of the ways that we can help you make homeownership a reality for you and your family

I am Empowered:  Francesann  Lowery

After 11 years of renting, Wayne Metro client Francesann now owns her own home. One of the ways she was able to do this was by engaging with Wayne Metro’s Own My Home program, which gave her the knowledge she needed to prepare to buy a home. Through the program, she also learned about a Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) grant, which she received and used to help cover closing costs.

“I can’t stress how much better it is to be a homeowner versus not being a homeowner. I just made my first house payment a little over a month ago. It actually was cheaper than my rent.”

Additionally, if you set up a Michigan $AVE$ Individual Development Account (IDA) through Wayne Metro, you will receive a 3-to-1 match for every dollar you put into your savings account up to $4,000. This money can also be used to cover downpayment and closing costs when you buy your home.

“I completed the wealth building classes and a home buyer’s class. Then I opened up a joint account with Fifth Third bank. Every dollar that I put in, the IDA put in three dollars, up to four thousand dollars. I came to the table with Fifth Third with four thousand dollars from the IDA program. Then MSHDA gave me a gift of three thousand dollars…I do not have to pay it back. I put down one thousand of my own money, and two hundred for the concession.”
Francesann Lowery

Learn the Steps

If you are ready to buy a house within the next 12 months, your Wayne Metro Homeownership Coach will help you enroll in a Homebuyer Education Class where you will learn the basics of buying a home. Upon completion of eight hours of Homebuyer Education you can qualify for Wayne Metro’s down payment assistance programs. There is a one-time $20 fee for all Homebuyer Club Education Classes. Once you are ready to apply for a mortgage, your Homeownership Coach will provide you with a list of preferred partnering mortgage lenders, real estate agents, and home inspectors.  Register for one of these classes.

Wayne Metro also offers a condensed 3-hour Homebuyer Education class for homebuyers already working with an MSHDA Certified Lender for downpayment assistance. If you have already signed a purchase agreement and need to take a Homebuyer Education class before you close on your mortgage loan, this class is perfect. There is a one-time $20 fee for this Fast Track Homebuyer Education Class.  Register for one of these classes.

Consult with Your Own Homeownership Coach

When you enroll in the Homebuyer Club, we will then connect you with a personal Homeownership Coach. You and your coach will examine your credit, income, expenses, and savings. Then, you and your coach will create a budget and plan just for you. Your coach will help you get pre-approved for a mortgage and provide ongoing support through the underwriting process. Our mission is to provide you with the resources needed to get to the closing table!

View a schedule of courses offered FREE to first time homebuyers.

For more information, please contact the Wayne Metro Call Center at 313-388-9799 or 734-284-6999.

Our Partners

Wayne Metro is partners with the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Wayne County, and local communities as a MSHDA-designated Homeownership Counseling Agency, and a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO).


Home Repair Loan Program

The city of Detroit, Bank of America, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) have partnered to offer residents of Detroit a 0% Interest Detroit Home Repair Loan program. If you apply and receive one of these loans, you will only pay back the amount of money you borrow. You will not pay any interest on your loan!

If your home is in the city of Detroit, a 0% Interest Detroit Home Repair Loan can provide you with the money you need to deal with home health and safety hazards such as removing lead-based paint, asbestos, or mold. Other repairs for which you may qualify under this loan program include electrical repairs, roof replacement or repairs, plumbing issues, and exterior or interior structural repairs.

To qualify for this loan program, your home must be in the city of Detroit and you must:

  • Own or occupy the home for at least 6 months prior to applying for this loan
  • Be a single individual earning less than $37,950, or a family of four earning less than $54,150
  • Have a minimum credit score of 560
  • Be up to date on all taxes
  • Have the means to make regularly scheduled payments on your loan

To find out if you are eligible for a 0% Interest Detroit Home Repair Loan, please visit www.DetroitHomeLoans.org and download the “Intake Form”. If you feel that you meet the qualifications to apply for a loan, visit the Wayne Metro Community Action Agency Intake Center nearest you. To serve you best, please bring all required documentation listed on the website and on the Wayne Metro Intake Form with you to your scheduled appointment. Help is available to assist you with filling out the forms.

Wayne Metro Intake Center locations:

  • Northwest: 18100 Meyers, Detroit, MI 48235
  • Eastside: 18525 Washtenaw, Harper Woods, MI 48225 (Corner of Kelly Road. and Washtenaw Street).
  • Central Woodward: 7310 Woodward, 8th Floor, Detroit, MI 48202

You may also schedule an appointment at a Wayne Metro Intake Center by calling 313-388-9799.


Matched Savings

Wayne Metro’s Michigan $AVE$ Individual Development Account (IDA) program helps Wayne County residents with limited income to save money to build a better future. The Michigan $AVE$ IDA program is a dollar-for-dollar matching program. This means that when you sign up for an IDA account, the program will match every dollar that you put into your savings account dollar-for-dollar (up to $1,000). You can use this money to purchase a home, start or expand your small business, or pursue your college education. To be eligible for this program, you must meet certain income guidelines, have been employed for the past 12 months, and participate in the Michigan $AVE$ IDA program for a minimum for 6 months.

Learn more about the Wayne Metro Michigan $AVE$ Individual Development Account program, or contact the Wayne Metro Call Center at 313-388-9799.

Take the Great Lakes Michigan Saves Pledge!


Stabilizing Families

Wayne Metro understands that a safe, secure, and healthy home is important to the academic success of a child. The Stable Families Create Student Success (SFCSS) program provides free financial coaching programs and classes to help individuals and families that are concerned about their housing situation. If you qualify and enroll in the SFCSS program, you will learn about financial services and products available to help improve your current finances, and will be given one-on-one guidance to help you stabilize your housing situation. You will also be provided with access to a variety of resources that will help you prepare for a more financially secure future.

Anyone wishing to take part in these programs and classes must have children enrolled at Central Collegiate Academy, Detroit Institute of Technology College Prep High School, Academy of Public Leadership, Medicine and Community Health Academy or River Rouge High School.

For more information, please contact the Wayne Metro Call Center at 313-388-9799.


Tax Preparation

Wayne Metro’s Free Preparation program provides free tax preparation services residents of Wayne County and surrounding communities with an annual household income of up to $50,000. Wayne Metro tax preparers are certified by the Internal Revenue Service. Online self-preparation tax services are also available to individuals earning up to $57,000 per year.

These free tax preparation services are available year round at several locations with a wide range of convenient office hours. Wayne Metro tax preparers can go back and prepare un-filed taxes up to three years. To take advantage of these free services, appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are also welcome.

Learn more about Wayne Metro’s Free Tax Program, or contact the Wayne Metro Call Center at 313-388-9799.


Online Learning

Wayne Metro’s Wayne Metro Genius Online Learning System features a variety of courses that support all of our Empowerment Pathway Programming. For a course list or to sign into your account, click here.

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