Thursday, July 30, 2009
The data reported today are part of the third NFMC report distributed to Congress in June 2009, and are based on client information provided from more than 1,700 HUD-approved housing counseling intermediaries, state housing finance agencies, and nonprofit housing counseling agencies that received NFMC funding through March 31, 2009. As of June 30, 2009, more than 540,000 homeowners have received foreclosure prevention counseling as a result of NFMC funding.
Nationwide, Hispanic homeowners make up only 11 percent of the nation’s homeowners, according to industry studies. Twenty-four percent of the nation’s homeowners are racial/ethnic minorities, with African American homeowners accounting for 9 percent, and Asian/Pacific Islanders accounting for 4 percent.
Also according to the NeighborWorks America NFMC report, Hispanic clients who sought foreclosure prevention counseling were the only group of homeowners more likely to hold adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) than fixed rate mortgages. Forty-seven percent of Hispanic NFMC clients held ARMs, and 41 percent held fixed rate mortgages. Nationwide, only 18 percent of outstanding mortgages are ARMs.
All other NFMC clients were more likely to hold fixed rate mortgages than ARMs. Fifty-one percent of African American clients held fixed rate mortgages, and 38 percent held ARMs. Like African American NFMC clients, White NFMC clients were more likely to hold fixed rate mortgages (59 percent) than ARMs (31 percent).
For more information about the NFMC Program, visit www.nw.org/nfmc.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
NeighborWorks America's Marietta Rodriguez, director for Homeownership and Lending, told National Public Radio's Marketplace program, what she thought mortgage servicers should be doing better to help families stay in their homes.
Marietta outlines some basic improvements that servicers need to make such as increasing communication back and forth between the borrower, the counselor working with them and more standardization. She noted that forms to process a loan modification are lost by servicers and that the homeowner, already under stress, has to fill the documents out multiple times in some cases. That fact is illustrated by reports from counselors who are part of the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program.
According to Marietta, counselors are working very hard to get borrowers in trouble to work with their servicers and that work is making the servicer's job easier. As a result, in comments edited out of the Marketplace interview, Marietta said that the servicing industry needs to begin compensating counselors for this work that is saving the mortgage industry time and money.
"Counselors provide a real, tangible benefit to servicers just like any other professional like lawyers and title companies. Counselors should be compensated for this work."
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Affordable housing practitioners and community development organizations are looking for ways to handle these properties, which are often left vacant and vulnerable to vandals and the elements. When properties deteriorate, neighborhoods undergo stress and destabilization, and there's a lost opportunity to match properties with lower-income families.
In addition to a growing number of courses focused on the acquisition, management and sale of REO properties, as well as classes on stabilizing neighborhoods and helping prospective homeowners purchase foreclosed properties, NeighborWorks America is pleased to offer a free, half-hour webinar that guides boards, executive directors and other key decision-makers in planning and implementing a REO program. The webinar can be viewed here, and note that there is a link at the end for a printed copy with speaker's notes.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
“The nation is faced with rapid downward pressure on neighborhoods that is unlike anything we have seen in generations. The crisis has not only affected our housing market, but our entire economy, and requires a response as intense and comprehensive as the challenge itself,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America.
A comprehensive response is exactly why many of the local NeighborWorks organizations have partnered with their state or local government, the private sector, and other nonprofit partners in applying for the second round of NSP funding.
Consortium partnerships that submitted applications to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will likely be among the most competitive applicants for NSP 2 funds. Each partner brings their unique strengths and expertise in a variety of disciplines needed to effectively stabilize communities, including assembling capital, property acquisition, rehabilitation or demolition, homeownership education, land banking, and asset management. Nonprofit housing and community development organizations, government and private sector partners that combine their strengths will amplify their ability to transform the housing crisis into an opportunity to rebuild neighborhoods and create healthy, stable communities. These cross-sector partnerships will be most effective in navigating their community through the crisis.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Nationwide, African American homeowners make up only 9 percent of the nation’s homeowners. Twenty-four percent of the nation’s homeowners are racial/ethnic minorities, with Hispanic homeowners accounting for 11 percent, and Asian/Pacific Islanders accounting for 4 percent.
Also according to the NeighborWorks America NFMC report, which analyzed client data through March 31, 2009, of all NFMC Program clients that held mortgages with interest rates above 8 percent, 35 percent are African American homeowners. Yet African American homeowners only account for 19 percent of the nation’s subprime mortgages.
In addition, African American clients who sought foreclosure prevention counseling were more likely to hold fixed rate mortgages than adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) —
51 percent of clients held fixed rate mortgages, and 38 percent held ARMs, compared to Hispanic clients, who were more likely to hold ARMs (47 percent) than fixed rate mortgages (41 percent). Like African American clients, White clients were more likely to hold fixed rate mortgages (59 percent) than ARMs (31 percent).
The report also noted that lower-income homeowners are likely to have a greater rate of foreclosure starts than higher-income homeowners. Fifty-eight percent of African American NFMC clients reported earning 80 percent or below their Area Median Income.To learn more, download the latest NFMC report.
Friday, July 17, 2009
"Economic recovery is as much about what you're doing in your communities as what we're doing in Washington – and it’s going to take all of us, working together," President Obama said in a video message announcing the initiative. "I'm calling on all of you to make volunteerism and community service part of your daily life and the life of this nation. ... We need individuals, community organizations, corporations, foundations, and our government to be part of this effort."
As part of our participation in this initiative, NeighborWorks America has committed to the following:
- Recruiting 155 employees from across the organization at four hours each to generate 620 hours of service through our employee volunteer service program
- Supporting network organizations in recruiting and deploying volunteers
- Selecting 68 network organizations to have one or more AmeriCorps Vista Volunteers (see related blog post)
Visit serve.gov to learn more about United We Serve. On the site, you can also find volunteer opportunities, register volunteer projects, and share volunteer stories.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
- Green Retrofit Program for Multifamily Housing - now accepting applications on first come first serve basis
- Neighborhood Stabilization Program — Deadline July 17
- Economic Development Administration Grants - Deadline Sept. 30
Monday, July 13, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
NeighborWorks America Chief Operating Officer Eileen Fitzgerald has said this about Sheila: “She is a true champion of the brand, 'NeighborWorks.' She is always looking for ways to raise the visibility of the brand. She has been instrumental in leading the way to get NeighborWorks organizations to think about new ways to approach service delivery. Where some folks might see a problem or a challenge, Sheila thinks creatively about how to achieve impact and develops strategic solutions that turn a challenge into an opportunity."
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
The VISTA volunteers will work in local communities to reduce the rate of foreclosure, strengthen areas hard hit by the recession and foreclosure crisis, and bolster financial fitness and asset building among low- and moderate-income homeowners and renters.
All VISTA volunteers will be in place by September 30, 2009 and each will complete one full year of service.
Find out more about NeighborWorks' VISTA sponsorship.
Learn more about the AmeriCorps VISTA program, including how you or your organization can become involved.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Read New York Times article. View NeighborWorks press release.