The HFA of Miami-Dade County created an abbreviated homebuyer education series titled “Brown Bag” workshops for presentation during lunch hours. HFA partnered with its Lenders, local Realtors, Housing Counselors and Credit Counselors to provide approximately 45 minutes of education and information to potential homebuyers over a lunch period and on their job site. Each presenter is given 5-7 minutes followed-up with a question and answer period.
The HFA also provides information on its single family bond homeownership mortgage during these sessions. Brown Bag participants enjoy one-on-one access to Brown Bag partners both during and following each session. This is the most powerful aspect of this program. We believe bringing professionals to potential homebuyers increases the chances of the buyer building trust and moving forward.
During the height of the Predatory Lending crisis, the HFA was part of a local team of housing partners working to help families save or recover their homes. During this tumultuous period HFA staff identified the need to support and educate seniors in particular and all homeowners on methods to maintain their property within their family. HFA staff partnered with Legal Services of Greater Miami, the Miami-Dade County Tax Collector, Consumer Services and the County’s Property Appraiser’s office to create a “safety net” of services and education. For example, staff worked with a 91 year old homeowner who buried the daughter she intended to leave her home to. HFA staff also worked with widows and widowers who were victims of family members who illegally obtained a reverse mortgage on the family property. The team of partners the HFA pulled together to fight predatory lending ultimately became what is now called the Legacy program.
The HFA Legacy program is an outreach and education program created to support elderly and all homeowners with maintaining their homes and insuring their property is transferred according to their final wishes. The HFA teamed up with local AARP chapters, elderly lunch programs and other senior activities for outreach. The HFA then enlisted the Property Appraiser’s office, the Tax Collector, Legal Aid of Dade County, Legal Services of Greater Miami and the local Community Action Agency to provide education and support. Sessions covered creating a will, clarification of property title, facts on reverse mortgages, the probate process and removing liens. The interest from the community was resounding and participation was outstanding.