New Housing Organization Unites Mortgage Finance System
The housing finance industry has created a new national organization to transform the homeowner education and counseling field. The American Homeowner Education and Counseling Institute, an independent national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., held its first meeting in May 1997. Private business, national and local nonprofit community organizations, government, industry trade groups, lenders, mortgage insurance companies, and individuals formed the institute. It brings all segments of the mortgage finance system together to work in a collaborative process to transform fragmented and under-funded homeowner counseling activities into a professional industry that can achieve a scale that is recognized by the mortgage industry nationwide.
Specific goals of the institute are to:
- Create a nationally recognized program for the professional certification of homeowner educators and counselors;
- Establish a core curriculum for homeowner education and counseling that couples the need for nationally accepted standards with the need for local flexibility;
- Identify the costs and benefits of homeowner education in business terms and determine how education and counseling services can be financed on a self-sustaining basis; and
- Provide technical assistance to homebuyer education providers and create a central clearinghouse of materials and information on "best practices."
Homeowner education and counseling are widely regarded as the primary means for meeting demand in the rapidly expanding homeownership market. It benefits the housing industry by increasing certainties and decreasing risks associated with making homeownership opportunity more available, and it helps homebuyers and homeowners become better able to deal with the obligations and responsibilities of homeownership. The Institute may be contacted at (888) 243-2499.