Housing & Affordability

TEC: Educating & Counseling about Mortgage Subsidies

Housing affordability is a major factor in where people choose to live and how well they live. When housing isn’t affordable, people can’t afford to buy a home or must choose housing far from their job. The affordability of housing in Miami-Dade County remains as an obstacle to ownership and affordable rentals. Another major obstacle to our low-moderate residents is the lack of knowledge about subsidy programs that help make ownership affordable. Unfortunately many of the families that would be eligible for the subsidy programs suffer from habitually low credit scores. On the 3rd Saturday of each month, Trinity Empowerment Consortium “Trinity” hosts a pre-purchase homebuyer education class. In the class we review the types of subsidies available based upon income and family size. We also review credit scores with a soft touch (does not impact scores). The scores which may be below the requirements of the subsidy programs must be improved in order for the family to participate in the subsidy. This is the point where many clients drop out and the commission based professionals who don’t get compensated until the family closes on their home move on. Enter Trinity and its financial coaching program. Everyone receiving a credit report is provided the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a financial and/or credit counselor. During that one-on-one counseling session we assist the family in developing an action plan to overcome the low credit scores. We also provide this service for families that may have been displaced during the housing crisis and are now looking to rebuild and restore their financial health.

Who are you?

Trinity Empowerment Consortium(TEC) provides counseling and education to families by helping them to identify affordable housing solutions and maximizing their potential by focusing on the limiting factors that preclude them from achievement.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

The lack of awareness within the low-moderate income communities for which the subsidy programs were developed continues to be a problem. The subsidy programs help make home ownership more affordable, but require stricter guidelines than FHA or conventional programs. By Increasing PR and marketing about the programs coupled with counseling and support to help prepare the potential home owners will result in greater utilization of the funds to make housing more affordable.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

The data in the Our Miami Report indicated that over 65% of renters in Miami are spending 30% or more on housing and that there was a decline in ownership rates from 2011 to 2013 are a part of the impetus behind our proposal. When the increase of 36% in the median sales price is added into the mix, the severity of the problem becomes more significant.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Ms L contacted us about the availability of subsidies to help her purchase her 1st home. It was determined that she was not eligible for subsidies due to a low credit score. Fast forward 8 months, after counseling, not only does she have an excellent credit score (765+), but a pre-approval for a mortgage utilizing subsidy programs. This is just one example of the success received when we are able to provide the combination of intense credit empowerment counseling and homebuyer education.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Trinity Empowerment Consortium, Inc.

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