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"UNIFYING THE FIELD FOR AFFORDABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP"HUD Office of Housing Counseling The Bridge Newsletter (September 2015)

"Staying Afloat by Branching Out" by Loren Berlin - Shelterforce, Issue 179

 

 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded on June 21, 2016 more than $42 million in housing counseling grants to hundreds of national, regional and local organizations to help families and individuals with their housing needs and to prevent future foreclosures. New York Mortgage Coalition was awarded $387,475 to be distributed to its network of eleven housing counseling agencies. This funding will help counselors assist a over 11,000 households in achieving their housing goals.

National Mortgage News recognized New York Mortgage Coalition Executive Director Rebecca Senn as a People Mover of the Week for April 29, 2016.
The full article can be read at http://www.nationalmortgagenews.com/news/people/people-movers-of-the-week-april-29-1076846-1.html.

The New York Mortgage Coalition is featured in the September 2015 issue of The Bridge, the newsletter of the HUD Office of Housing Counseling. The September issue highlights coalitions of housing counseling agencies that work together to serve a common purpose. NYMC’s members work together to unify the field of affordable homeownership by helping lenders, funders, non-profits, realtors, and policy makers work collaboratively to maximize equitable homeownership opportunities for all the underserved.

The New York Mortgage Coalition is featured in the Fall 2015 issue of Shelterforce Magazine, the quarterly publication of the National Housing Institute. “Staying Afloat By Branching Out” by Loren Berlin features the innovative ways that several housing counseling agencies face cuts in state and federal funding for foreclosure prevention. NYMC’s partnership with eHome America to provide its member agencies with a new revenue stream through online homeownership education is highlighted as one such innovation.

Berlin writes:

Other agencies are diversifying revenue streams by leveraging technology, such as the New York Mortgage Coalition (NYMC), a network of 11 counseling agencies working throughout greater New York. According to NYMC executive director Ken Inadomi, funding levels for mortgage default counseling in the state of New York have remained consistent so far thanks to settlements with many of the country’s largest banks negotiated by the state’s attorney general. Nonetheless, Inadomi anticipates the eventual end of these monies, and is using technology to prepare for that inevitability.

This year NYMC brokered a deal to provide member agencies discounted subscriptions to eHomeAmerica, an online housing counseling platform that is currently limited to pre-purchase services, but intends to add post-purchase counseling soon. Potential homebuyers pay $99 for the pre-purchase counseling, with a portion of the fees shared between NYMC’s agencies and eHomeAmerica. In the near term, the platform enables NYMC members to diversify their services by adding pre-purchase counseling on top of existing default counseling services.

In doing so, agencies are also able to increase revenues, says Inadomi. “It’s a fee-for-service model that can be built on. The typical first-time homebuyers today were born in 1983, representing the leading edge of the millennial generation. They are technology-driven and don’t want to come for an in-person workshop, don’t want to pay for child care, parking. They want to do it at home, and they will pay $99 for that convenience.”

According to Inadomi, the platform also presents an opportunity to reduce administrative costs. The agencies don’t have to host as many in-person workshops, which Inadomi estimates can cost upwards of $500 per session including staff overtime, meeting space, maintenance, and refreshments. “Let’s say you do that 20 times a year, that’s $10,000. . . . Plus, walk-in and face-to-face services are largely driven by staff capacity. Online counseling makes you less dependent on staff headcount to meet demand.”

Down the road, once the platform’s post-purchase services are up and running, Inadomi believes that online counseling programs such as eHome will serve as a buffer against future fluctuations in funding for default counseling services. “There will be an ongoing counseling platform that will always be available, regardless of the increases or decreases in funding, providing a consistent revenue stream,” he says, asserting that he believes there will also always be a role for face-to-face counseling.

We have a new Events Calendar on our website featuring all of our community groups homeownership events, seminars, workshops, credit classes, and more!

Ken Inadomi, Executive Director of the New York Mortgage Coalition, wrote an article for The Niche Report, Housing Market Requires Creative Approaches to Mitigate Future Risks.

These [Qualifed Residential Mortgage] policy changes are untested and could disrupt the recovery in the housing market… Rather than make wholesale policy changes, the public and private sectors should come together to find creative ways to mitigate mortgage risks while promoting sustainable growth. One example they could draw from is a homebuyer education program that has already demonstrated success in New York.