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Maryland Homeownership Groups Represented at White House Event

Maryland Homeownership Groups Represented at White House Event

Several organizations from Maryland attended the “Dare to Own the Dream” event at the White House.

Several organizations from Maryland attended the “Dare to Own the Dream” event at the White House. (Photo courtesy of the Community Development Network of Maryland)

In celebration of Homeownership Month, the White House Office of Public Engagement and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) hosted the “Dare to Own the Dream” homeownership event at the White House on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. HUD Secretary Julian Castro and senior White House officials recognized families and individuals from around the country who became homeowners with the assistance of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies. This event highlighted stories of individuals from various backgrounds who are now on the path to sustainable homeownership after receiving assistance from HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.

The Community Development Network of Maryland and a number of Maryland-based housing counseling agencies were among those represented,  including Centro de Apoyo Familiar, Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc., Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Harford County Department of Housing and Community Development, Housing Initiative Partnership, Salisbury Neighborhood Housing Services, United Communities Against Poverty and Home Free-USA. All of these organizations are part of Maryland’s HOPE (Home Owners Preserving Equity) network, which provides professional housing counseling services across the state.

Through the state’s Maryland Housing Counseling Fund, the Department of Housing and Community Development is proud to support the important work done by these organizations to prepare consumers for sustainable homeownership. Research shows that homebuyers who worked with nonprofit housing counselors have fewer late mortgage payments and improved credit scores.

In conjunction with the White House event, a national collaboration of lenders, investors, real estate agents and housing counseling agencies announced that they are joining forces to raise awareness of the opportunities and benefits of working with housing counseling agencies. The “Homeownership Collaborative” will pull together industry stakeholders to host partnerships in local housing markets aimed at increasing homeownership opportunities by working with HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.

Partners in this effort include the Mortgage Bankers Association, 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 and National Council of La Raza. HomeFree-USA and Housing Options and Planning Enterprises, also members of Maryland’s HOPE network, will participate in this national effort.

New homebuyers in Maryland can  visit http://bit.ly/HousingCounselors  for a list of housing counseling agencies in their area as well as information about the department’s Maryland Mortgage Program, which provides affordable access to home mortgage financing.