New HGTV show helps those too broke to reno

House Poor's combo format of finance and restoration aid provides sponsorship opps for both banks and reno-related brands.

A new HGTV series that dispenses financial advice (an increasingly valuable commodity) combined with the popular DIY home-reno show format, begins production this week in the Toronto area.

Produced by Winnipeg-based Frantic Films, House Poor‘s experts help homeowners in the midst of expensive home renos they can’t afford to finish, by pointing out where they can trim their spending. The door is open for incorporating branded content in both those fields, says supervising producer Jennifer Horvath. ‘If a couple needs to get a home equity line of credit so that they can complete their renovation – that could be a sponsored element. If they need to get new windows or new flooring, those would be opportunities for manufacturers or retailers,’ Horvath tells MiC.

The half-hour 13-episode show is targeting homeowners 25 to 45 and is slated for a prime time fall 2009 timeslot on HGTV. Unlike most home improvement shows, House Poor actually considers the real cost of labour and materials, says Horvath. ‘It really matters to them that they stay on budget,’ she says, of the show’s participants.

HGTV was ranked by BBM Nielsen as the seventh most popular analog specialty channel last fall, with 30% growth in the adult 25-to-54 demo in 2008.