Dear Friends of HIP,
Yesterday’s Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU FM featured Mary Hunter, HIP’s Director of Housing Counseling, along with Michael Fletcher of the Washington Post, Dorothy Brown of Emory University School of Law and Tom Shapiro of the Institute on Asset and Social Policy to discuss Mr. Fletcher’s recent series, “A Shattered Foundation” which discusses the loss of wealth in the African American community in Prince George’s County due to the foreclosure crisis.
The articles cite example after example of African American buyers who were steered to subprime predatory loans during the height of the housing bubble, only to see their homes decline in value, preventing them from refinancing into more reasonable loans. Egged on by realtors and lenders, many homeowners made one bad decision after another, hoping to work their way out of trouble but only digging their holes deeper.
Mary emphasized the importance of housing counseling for families before they buy a home so that they may truly understand what they can afford and what are good mortgage terms. Only a housing counselor can be truly objective about a buyer’s financial situation; there is no commission or fee to be earned based on the size of a loan.
Here at HIP, we see clients on a daily basis who want to build wealth for their families and find stable housing situations that they can afford for the long term, whether that be homeownership or rental. And we see the victims of the housing meltdown. Helping these families make housing choices that will benefit them for the long term is what drives us to do the work we do day after day.