Partner: The Housing Council and the City of Rochester
Project: Zombie Properties Foreclosure Prevention

The Context
Foreclosure is not inevitable. There are very successful options available to help an at-risk homeowner avoid losing their home to foreclosure. And, with The Housing Council these solutions are always free. They help more than 600 Rochester homeowners with foreclosure prevention services every year and have a 95% success rate.

The Challenge
Many homeowners either don’t know about these services or don’t reach out soon enough. Once they receive a foreclosure notice, homeowners are often overwhelmed or think it is too late to do anything about it. Past experiences with predatory lenders or other systems may make it so that homeowners are hesitant to trust something that seems “too good to be true”.

The Goal
Expand the visibility of The Housing Council foreclosure prevention services, and to increase the timeliness of reaching homeowners so that they reach out and connect with a homeowner advocate before it’s too late.

What We Did
Causewave worked with our partners to better understand the challenges and barriers homeowners face when it comes to foreclosure prevention and developed a strategy to overcome them. Rather than try and hide it, Initial Here Creative Services developed a multi-media campaign that put the word “Foreclosure” front and center so homeowners know they don’t have to be afraid and that trusted resources are available to help save their home.

A microsite was developed to serve as the central resource for the campaign. In addition to messaging directed at homeowners, supporting materials for referral sources were developed to distribute in the community. The campaign ran from May through August of 2018 using radio, social, billboards and e-mail.

The campaign generated over 4 million impressions and 5,800 website visits during the three-month period. As a result, The Housing Council saw a 20% increase in foreclosure related appointments compared to the same period in 2017.