HUD Teamwork Supports Creation
of Statewide Housing Counseling Curriculum
Housing counselors in the state of Mississippi
had the best of intentions when they set up a wide variety of homeownership
programs for first-time homebuyers. However, the multitude of programs were
a mystery to most Mississippians. Each of the numerous housing counseling
classes offered consumers only limited information on the array of discount
and incentive programs in existence. To understand the full spectrum of
homeownership services available, homebuyers would have to attend several
types of housing counseling classes.
"At least five different types of home buyer education programs
were taught throughout the State," said Ginger Buck, a Public Trust
Officer with the Housing Program Support Division in the Mississippi
State Office. Although staff at HUD were concerned primarily about purchasers,
Buck also pointed out that "every lender had to review every type of
homeownership course to ensure that certain requirements, such as education
on the basics and responsibilities of having a home mortgage, were adequately
To address these needs, the HUD Mississippi State Office partnered with
the Mississippi Housing Initiative program to create one standard housing
training curriculum for the State. The curriculum is now complete, and the
first of several train-the-trainer sessions for course instructors attracted
over 75 participants to Jackson during late June.
"Now that all agencies and lenders recognize all programs, we will
help the customer figure out which home buyer assistance program is best
for his or her circumstances," said Community Builder Fellow Marilyn
Teamwork between Community Builders and Public Trust Officers helped
pave the way for HUDs successful partnership with the Mississippi
Housing Initiative. When approached about contributing to the creation of
the single housing counseling curriculum, Senior Community Builder Pat Hoban-Moore
quickly sought HUDs approval for the course. Public Trust Officer
Ginger Buck then worked closely with Moore-Lemons to finalize curriculum
components and with the staff at Atlanta Home Ownership Center to have the
course designated a HUD-approved first-time homeownership class.
"Duplication of efforts and differing homeownership courses is a
challenge throughout the country," said Ginger Buck. HUDs partnership
with the Mississippi Housing Initiative is a model for making the homeownership
process easier and more efficient for all parties in a homebuying transaction.
"This is an example of how Community Builders and Public Trust Officers
can work together to meet Departmental goals and better serve our customers,"
added Hoban-Moore. For more information about the partnership, contact the
Community Builders in the Mississippi
State Office of HUD at 601-965-4738. Click
here (http://www.hudhcc.org/agencies/agencies.html) for housing counseling classes in your area.