Homeownership Collaborative Report Highlights Available Homeownership Education, Housing Counseling Services

The Homeownership Collaborative, a coalition of real estate trade associations and nonprofit housing counseling providers, yesterday released its first report on steps that can be taken to increase use of homeownership education and housing counseling services available nationwide.

The Collaborative, of which the Mortgage Bankers Association is a member, involved lenders, real estate agents and housing counselors who sat down together in four cities to increase homeownership opportunities in their markets.

The report, Creating Channels of Opportunity in Diverse & Emerging Homebuying Markets, reports back on the combined efforts of these organizations to host partnerships in local housing markets aimed at increasing homeownership opportunities by working with HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, as well as lessons learned to date.

“MBA believes in housing counseling as an important service that can make someone’s homeownership dreams come true,” said Steve O’Connor, MBA Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Industry Relations. “The mission of our partners in the housing counseling community and the real estate industry as a whole is completely aligned.”

“Housing counseling is a tremendous resource for consumers nationwide to receive free education and guidance on their path to homeownership, creating channels of opportunity that can improve the homebuyer experience and ultimately the state of the U.S. housing market,” the report said. “However, despite its many opportunities and benefits, housing counseling remains underutilized, as many homebuyers and sellers are not even aware that housing counseling services exist.”

The Homeownership Collaborative, a national collaboration of lenders, investors, real estate agents and housing counseling agencies, formed in July 2016 to raise awareness of the opportunities and benefits of working with housing counseling agencies. The collaboration includes the MBA, the National Housing Resource Center, the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the Asian Real Estate Association of America, HomeFree USA, National Council of La Raza, NID-HCA, Rural Community Assistance Corporation, Center for NYC Neighborhoods, Chhaya Community Development Corporation, HomeSmartNY, Housing Options & Planning Enterprises, Beyond Housing and Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland.

“It is time for housing counseling to stop being the best kept housing secret,” said Bruce Dorpalen, Executive Director of National Housing Resource Center. “Homebuyers, real estate agents, and lenders all benefit when housing counselors are working with the buyers to help them succeed. Buyers can receive counseling help with down payment assistance, improved credit, homebuyer education, mortgage paperwork documentation, and the assurance of working with an independent expert to help with a process that is, let’s face it, complicated and intimidating. These four meetings showed how lenders and Realtors can work together with HUD approved housing counselors to make homeownership more possible for more people.”

“For many people, buying a home is the most significant financial decision they’ll make in their lifetime, and the journey from home search to closing can be a complex and overwhelming process,” said National Association of Realtors President Elizabeth Mendenhall. “Time spent in a homebuyer education class or with a certified housing counselor can help consumers better understand the buying process and responsibilities of ownership until they reach a position of being truly ready to become a homeowner.”

The report can be downloaded at http://mba.informz.net/MBA/data/images/FINAL Homeownership Collaborative Report 2018 – February 27 2018.pdf.