Homeownership in the Build Back Better Bill

In all the activity around the Build Back Better Budget Reconciliation Bill on Capital Hill, we wanted to make a strong statement for homeownership. National Housing Resource Center organized a letter signed by 152 national, local, and regional organizations who are all in full support. The housing market needs substantial investment to help increase the supply of affordable housing, improve access to homeownership, and address the troubling homeownership gap for Black and Brown people. Addressed to members of Congress, the Senate, and Legislative Directors, this letter emphasizes the importance of homeownership for the economy and urges them all to support full funding for homeownership in the Build Back Better Budget Reconciliation Bill. To read this letter and to see the local groups that signed please click this link. Here are the national groups who signed: Affordable Homeownership Foundation, Inc. Americans for Financial Reform Coalition for the Homeless Consumer Action Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling, Inc. d/b/a National Foundation for Debt Management Center for Community Progress Center for Responsible Lending CENTRO DE APOYO FAMILIAR, CAF Consumer Federation of America Esperanza HomeFree-USA Homeownership Council of America Integrated Community Solutions, Inc. National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals - NAHREP National Association of Latino Community Assets Builders National Association of Real Estate Brokers - NAREB National Association of Realtors National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development - CAPACD National Community Stabilization Trust National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) National Fair Housing Alliance National Housing Law Project National Housing Resource Center National NeighborWorks Association Navicore Solutions NID Housing Counseling Agency Prosperity Now Reinvestment Partners Rural Community Assistance Corporation UnidosUS Woodstock Institute

NHRC Celebrates 9 Years of Service

Can you believe it? NHRC is nine years old! It seems like only yesterday that NHRC was a brand-new baby and look where we are now.  It has been quite a year: We pushed for $100 Million in new funding for housing counseling in the American Rescue Plan, which is now the Housing Stability Counseling Program administered by NeighborWorks America. No final number on the FY 2022 budget yet, but the House has put us in for the full $100 million for the HUD Housing Counseling assistance that we requested.  We continue to encourage the Senate to do the same. Our contributions to Maxine Waters’ staff and the Black Homeownership Collaborative are paying off with the likely inclusion of a first-generation homebuyer down payment assistance program in the latest budget reconciliation bill.  We should know shortly. We continue to advocate for the Eviction Crisis Act, the Disaster Recovery Act, and Housing Financial Literacy Act, along with a role for housing counseling in these bills. We have kept the pace up on our Leaders in Housing Counseling calls; the latest on eviction protection, forbearance, and foreclosure prevention, manufactured housing, thinking about systemic racism, student loans, Black and Brown homeownership preservation, and more. We have pivoted our outreach work with local housing counseling agencies to do virtual events on home buying and homeowner preservation. We continue to progress on standardizing housing counseling data fields, so our work can communicate electronically with Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, lenders, servicers, and HUD (shout out to David Young on his leadership). Our significant discount for Credit Reports for NHRC members and the SAVI student loan program continues. We are making the voices of housing counseling heard in the public arena and [...]

Housing Policy Director – Job Description

Compensation:  $55,000 to $60,000 Annually Benefits Offered:  401K, Dental, Medical, Vision Employment Type:  Full-Time Reports to:  Executive Director FLSA Status:  Exempt Prepared Date:  July 26, 2021 Click HERE to Apply.   POSITION SUMMARY: The Housing Policy Director will lobby in Congress on housing issues, develop policy positions, and work with housing counseling agencies and housing advocates. This job is a high-impact position with national significance, which will require resourcefulness and initiative. The National Housing Resource Center (NHRC) is an advocacy organization, providing leadership for the nonprofit housing counseling community and the clients they serve. NHRC brings together the many parts of the housing counseling community to be an effective advocacy voice in policymaking and program design. Housing counseling agencies are working to increase homeownership, prevent foreclosures, and assist underserved communities. Employees will impact and develop national housing policy, working with Congress, HUD, Treasury, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and leading housing advocates. The Housing Policy Director is an exempt position. Exempt employees are expected to work the appropriate and necessary time to complete key assignments and related tasks on schedule.   ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Develop policy positions for NHRC which represent the interests of the Hnonprofit housing counseling community and the people they serve Work with local agencies, state networks, and national organizations to identify issues and develop consensus positions on policy issues Write policy briefs and position papers for use by policymakers and member organizations Communicate with Congressional offices on policy issues Convene and participate in conference calls and meetings on policy issues Provide appropriate content for the NHRC website, listserve, and all other NHRC outlets Represent NHRC at public meetings, conference calls, and electronic discussion forums Develop the reputation of housing counseling [...]

NHRC Big News!

On July 1, 2021, Ellie Pepper was promoted as the Deputy Director of the National Housing Resource Center (NHRC). Ellie has been working for 30 years on issues related to disenfranchised communities and affordable housing.  At NHRC, Ellie has enthusiastically jumped into our work developing our outreach programs to reach underserved homebuyers and homeowners, convened our Leaders in Housing Counseling calls, guided many conversations for protecting first-time homebuyers in today’s market, crafted COVID-19 resilience strategies, monitored and publicized the effectiveness of mortgage forbearance, and much more.  Ellie has worked with many of you to bring your experiences and your concerns forward. Join us in congratulating Ellie on a job well done!  We look forward to all of the amazing work you will do in the days to come!  

Prioritizing First Time Homebuyers

As we look forward to recognizing National Homeownership Month this year (June 2021), we cannot ignore the issues that plague potential first-time homebuyers across the country. First-time homebuyers of modest means who need a mortgage to purchase a home face stiff competition from cash buyers and well-funded investors in the current market and are being blocked from achieving homeownership in many ways.   The National Association of Realtors reported in April 2021 that 25% of all home sales were all-cash deals, which has increased from 15% reported in 2020. Investors and cash buyers are pushing consumers with a modest income and owner-occupant buyers out of the market.  This disproportionately impacts buyers of color and first-time homebuyers. By purchasing moderately priced homes through all-cash deals, buyers are artificially inflating the real estate market and aiding in gentrification in many neighborhoods across the country.  Investors are also turning owner-occupied single-family homes into non-owner-occupied rentals which diminish the sense of community many first-time homebuyers look for when seeking their dream home.  These issues are hitting all over the U.S. in both rural and urban areas. Housing counselors and advocates for affordable housing began raising the alarm about this issue in early 2020.  Real estate agents were telling homebuyers to waive property inspections and even appraisal contingencies to be competitive.  Buyers were told that cash offers with quick turnaround were beating out their offers (sometimes even for lower amounts).  Private equity companies were bidding up single-family home prices to switch homes to long-term rentals – fueled by Wall Street investors. On behalf of American for Financial Reform, National Housing Resource Center (NHRC) convened a working group that identified five specific areas to address: Incentives for selling to first-time buyers/owner-occupants Amassing [...]

The Black Homeownership Collaborative Plan for Three Million New Black Households by 2030

Black homeownership has plummeted since the Great Recession.   Systemic racism, equity stripping, and a significant loss of affordable housing are just a few reasons for this declination in Black homeowners throughout the US.   The National Housing Resource Center has joined with the National Housing Conference, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the National Fair Housing Alliance many other organizations working collaboratively through the Black Homeownership Collaborative to ensure that there are 3 million new Black homeowners by the year 2030.  To do this, a 7-point plan has been devised that will address several key areas that have caused Black homeownership to continually plummet since the end of the Great Recession. Over one hundred housing leaders that span the political spectrum in areas of housing advocacy and industry recommend seven “tangible, actionable, and scalable” steps that will aid in addressing the gap in housing disparities between Black and white homeowners.  As this is just the beginning in bringing Black homeownership to “levels never previously attained”, they are assured that these steps will lead to new strategies as this plan unfolds. The National Housing Resource Center (NHRC), HomeFree-USA, and NeighborWorks America co-chaired the Downpayment Assistance and the Housing Counseling Workstreams.   To read this plan in detail, click here. Homeownership Counseling – Providing homeownership counseling helps to close the gap in many of these areas by getting much-needed information to would be Black homebuyers.  The plan calls for sustained funding for housing counseling and strategies to get homebuyers and homeowners to housing counseling programs early in the process. Downpayment Assistance – Discriminatory housing policies and growing racial wealth gaps play a major role in many Black and Brown families not having much needed resources to save for [...]

Proposal for the New Covid-19 Housing Counseling Funding Program

National Housing Resource Center was instrumental in ensuring that the Biden Administration include funding for housing counseling in the American Rescue Plan Act.  We are incredibly happy that $100 million was added because of our advocacy and that the funds were designated to flow through NeighborWorks America as was done with the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program during the financial crisis.  While the NFMC program was incredibly helpful and made it possible for housing counseling agencies to build capacity and meet the needs of consumers, there were lessons housing counselors learned which could strengthen new programs.  We convened a working group of thirty-eight (38) housing counseling leaders to discuss best practices from the NFMC program and review what needed to be done differently.  As a result, we were able to submit a comprehensive list of proposals to NeighborWorks America for the design of the Covid-19 Housing Counseling Funding.  The full list of proposals can be found here.   Below are a few key highlights. A program can only be properly distributed with adequate administration. This is also true with distributing housing counseling services to any community. The working group believes that there should be adequate support for administrative costs to both subgrantees and intermediaries. NeighborWorks America should prioritize direct funding to agencies for the services they provide over funding for program research and staff training for the first $100 million. We strongly support analytic reviews of the work and staff training but suggest that funding for this comes from later COVID 19 funding.  Agencies need funding now to expand capacity and deliver services to consumers in need. The working group recognized that smaller agencies would receive lower funding allocations even though their capacity building may [...]

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