10 Things Your Faith Community Can Do To Encourage Homeownership

10. Help Homeowners Keep Their Homes

10 Things to Encourage Homeownership


  1. Speak Out About the Benefits of Homeownership
  2. Create Partnerships to Educate Potential Homebuyers
  3. Encourage Families to Save for a Downpayment
  4. Help Families Improve Their Credit Rating
  5. Teach Young People about Financial Responsibility
  6. Hold an Open House for Homeownership
  7. Put Your Faith to Work with Hammer and Nails
  8. Encourage Professionals in Your Faith Community to Mentor Families
  9. Help Your Neighbor by Going the "Extra Mile"
  10. Help Homeowners Keep Their Homes

Faith-based organizations are often the best "early warning" system when families are facing financial difficulty. Encourage your organization's members to contact a credit-counseling agency, their mortgage lender or you, before problems get out of control. There are resources available to help families who are delinquent in their mortgage payments from losing their homes to foreclosure.

Being a homeowner is challenging no matter what the circumstances. Owners must set and juggle priorities regularly to ensure that they make the most of their investment while meeting their other obligations. Sometimes, however, a family may become overwhelmed by the demands. Following are several suggestions for assistance that your organization may be able to put in place.

Many financial institutions offer "no downpayment" mortgage options. While these mortgages have helped many, they do not create an equity base for new homeowners. This is a precarious situation for new owners, especially those with low and moderate incomes. No equity means they will have no place to turn for funds to continue to invest in and improve their homes.

  • Consider setting up a savings program for new homeowners that homeowners can access strictly for home maintenance and improvements. When owners make their mortgage payment, they also make a payment to the fund. In this way, especially if there is a way to subsidize their savings, they are effectively creating a resource to avoid situations where owners may sacrifice their mortgage payment in order to take care of an urgent repair.
  • Provide education about the law and foreclosure prevention. More information is available at http://www.consumerlaw.org/; http://www.lssmn.org/; http://www.consumerlaw.org/consumer/sustainable_homeownership/home_owners.htm; http://www.mhfa.state.mn.us/homes/homes_foreclosure.htm
  • Offer helpful referrals to prevent loss of the family home through foreclosure. See HUD's Help for Homeowners Facing the Loss of Their Home.
Content Archived: April 9, 2010