In 2017, Deutsche Bank received orders to enter a significant settlement with the Department of Justice for misleading investors in its sale of residential mortgage-backed securities. Under the consumer relief portion of this settlement, Deutsche Bank was required to sponsor three housing outreach events each year for a three-year term. National Housing Resource Center (NHRC) saw an opportunity to help housing counseling agencies spread the word on the services they provide and submitted a proposal that Deutsche Bank chose to use for eight outreach events. These events were scheduled to take place in markets in Chicago, Tampa, Atlanta, Inland Empire (Southern California), Phoenix, St. Louis, Memphis, and Newark. The events targeted Black and Brown homebuyers and homeowners.
DESIGN & FLOW
The model NHRC developed was designed to have events planned by and for housing counselors. The goal was to ensure that attendees learned the value of meeting with a HUD-approved housing counselor prior to making any home purchasing decision. With that in mind, each event followed a basic outline:
- Attendees first sat down with a housing counselor for a brief discussion, where they received general information about the services they provide. Attendees can work with a counselor after the event for in-depth housing counseling and an action plan to meet their personal housing goals. At three events, loss mitigation counseling was offered alongside pre-purchase counseling.
- After meeting with a counselor, attendees could take advantage of workshops about the homebuying process, how to build credit, and local down payment assistance programs available.
- Next, attendees could get a free credit report with a FICO score from at least one Credit Bureau.
- Lastly, attendees had the opportunity to visit vendors from banking, real estate, housing development, and social service agencies.
2020 was a year that changed the trajectory of many industries across our nation due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The once-successful housing counseling in-person events quickly transformed into virtual events in compliance with CDC guidelines. NHRC recognizes this as an opportunity to assist and learn with local agencies and produce outreach events to share information on the power of housing counselors.
This year, NHRC is working along with the Mortgage Bankers Association to host the Memphis Virtual Homebuyer Fair on Saturday, April 24, 2021. This fair will provide NHRC an opportunity to practice the design created through our experiences. We look forward to learning new information on what practices would be best in connecting future homebuyers with housing counselors in a virtual environment and how we can help in the process. Please share with us any experiences you have in running a successful, virtual event.
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