Homeownership continuum

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Southern New Hampshire University
Beverly Massachusetts is a small City with wide income disparity and prohibitive housing costs. The dramatic rise in housing prices over the last 5-10 years has made it impossible for low-income people to purchase homes. The Homeownership Continuum is an attempt at melding new and existing resources to leverage homeownership opportunities for low -income people. The HC provides low-income families with a viable path toward homeownership by addressing each barrier to ownership with pertinent resources. Financial limitations are addressed by the establishment of the Section 8 Mortgage program, the creation of an IDA savings program and the application of existing down payment programs. Limited understanding about credit, basic finance and mortgage processes is dealt with through educational workshops and targeted marketing. The IDA program will offer monthly workshops on these topics. A certified homebuyer class will be offered by the Community Outreach Program in conjunction with a local realtor and local bankers. In addition, information regarding existing first-time buyer programs will be distributed in low-moderate income neighborhoods. Finally, the local affordable housing developers will commit to considering first-time buyer projects as part of their efforts to address the affordable housing shortage. All these fulcrum points are necessary to leverage first time buyer opportunities for low and moderate income families. (Author abstract)