The Role of Non-Profit Housing Counselors in Promoting Affordable Housing Opportunities

Housing on merit (HUM) creates a connection to permanent, affordable housing for many vulnerable people fighting for affordable housing. We envision a world in which everybody has a home - regardless of income, credit history, location, or risk history. To create a method for making this vision a reality, we create plans for creating home that both meets community needs and prevents displacement from natural disasters and other causes. Communities constructed with HIP principles share many values: strong public services, low income, healthy neighborhoods, access to safe recreation and wholesome food, involvement in local economic development and improvement, and constant management of public resources.

The value of the vision is strengthened by our ability to work with our partners at all levels to achieve it. Community development involves a broad selection of housing activities such as: development of affordable housing, inclusion of vulnerable areas and the elderly from the development process, and access to quality health services and preventing foreclosures. The program focuses on those key areas:

Creating housing on merit demands a multi-pronged strategy. Our multi-pronged strategy starts by recognizing that building and sustaining a vibrant, integrated, economically and socially stable neighborhood demands a multifaceted work. Additionally, it requires the commitment to a wide range of common solutions such as: positive externalities, such as comprehensive reinvestment in schools and neighborhood improvement, and focused interventions. These solutions are designed to deal with the entire range of the complex array of problems that can cause displacement, including: demographics, environmental change, health care, poverty, and gentrification. We work to make these issues relevant in the decision making processes of buying and selling, while working to strengthen the fabric of the areas in which people live.

Among the most troubling issues in the United States today is the unequal distribution of wealth. Some areas are especially troubling, as they've experienced dramatic decreases in home prices and foreclosure rates, even as other areas are still comparatively wealthy. Income and wealth gaps are a serious cause for concern, as they are an integral contributor to both health care and quality of life. Though some individuals may lack perfect health, and others may lack adequate access to high quality home, the poor health of many individuals contributes to a system where many are unable to afford the housing they need or deserve.

Building and sustaining prosperous neighborhoods requires addressing the unequal distribution of wealth. This starts by building a culture of inclusion, which includes access to quality affordable housing, higher-quality colleges, job development and a higher standard of living. A critical component of this culture of inclusion is creating opportunities through educational and employment opportunities. Another important area for building a prosperous neighborhood is to guarantee access to quality, affordable medical care.

The Affordable Housing Initiatives of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) work with many different creative financing strategies to ensure that low-income and minority households can afford to purchase, rent, and preserve affordable housing. Creative funding includes programs such as: FHA Secured Home Loan Programs, the Federal-aid Neighborhood Centers, and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Furthermore, HUD also provides assistance for providing homeownership programs for those individuals who can't qualify for a conventional mortgage. In order to be eligible for this assistance, an individual or family must demonstrate the capacity to repay the mortgage loan using earnings from other sources. Go Back


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