North East Community Action Corp (NECAC) is preparing for the new year with Innovative Housing Conferences for current and prospective homeowners and the “Money Pie, Pizza Pie” program to instill efficient money management and financial planning.

North East Community Action Corp (NECAC) is preparing for the new year with Innovative Housing Conferences for current and prospective homeowners and the “Money Pie, Pizza Pie” program to instill efficient money management and financial planning.

Carla Potts, deputy director of housing development for NECAC, said the first Innovative Housing Conference in Shelbina generated strong interest, and the conferences will expand to include dates in Hannibal, Canton and Moberly at the start of 2017. The events will focus on housing options like tiny homes, along with NECAC programs for home rehabilitation, weatherization and the USDA 502 Housing Direct loan. NECAC Homeownership Programs Director Debbie Smith is coordinating a “Money Pie, Pizza Pie” six-month program to boost financial capability by using a money pie chart to track finances, served up with pizza and pie during each class

“Money Pie, Pizza Pie” sessions will take place at the NECAC Homeownership Center in Hannibal, and pizza and pie will be served to complement the money pie chart. Participants will learn money management techniques by pursuing goals through accessing credit reports; performing credit repairs and drafting letters; budgeting and ways to increase income and reduce expenses, Smith said.

Smith emphasized that the financial capability courses are for people of all ages, including students, renters, homeowners and prospective homeowners. The money pie chart reinforces the fact that “everyone only has 100 percent,” Smith said.

“It's how you divide it up.”

Day and evening classes are scheduled to begin in January. There will be a six-person limit for each class, to allow for one-on-one counseling during the 90-minute class each month. To find out more information or to include your name on the list of interested people, please contact Smith at (573)324-6622. For current and prospective owners, upcoming conferences will zero in on specific housing options and NECAC programs to complement sound financial practices.

Innovative Housing Conferences will display tiny homes, which have been growing in popularity since NECAC's first conference showcased them on Wednesday, Dec. 7 in Shelbina. Potts said the nontraditional, space-efficient homes are one of the solutions available to families and individuals, because one housing solution doesn't fit each person's situation.

“I always say you need a suitcase full of ideas,” Potts said.

She said the three January conferences will offer information about NECAC programs for renters as and homeowners, including weatherization to keep the winter cold out, home rehabilitation and the USDA 502 Housing Direct Loan for purchasing a new home.

The Hannibal conference for residents of Marion and Ralls counties will begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11, at the Marion County Service Center, 3518 Palmyra Road in Hannibal. The conference for Lewis County residents will start at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Lewis County Service Center, 408 South 4th St. in Canton. Randolph County residents can attend the conference at 10 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Randolph County Service Center, 1903 North Morley Street, Suite B in Moberly. Please call Potts at (573)324-6622 for more information about the conferences or NECAC programs.

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com