Salt Lake City, Utah – Concerned about rising foreclosures, the Utah Division of Housing & Community Development is partnering with non-profit groups to improve home buyer education.
Through the Olene Walker Housing Loan Fund, the division financed expansion of the Housing Education Coalition of Utah, a statewide network of counselors who advise potential and existing homeowners on how to shop for loans and avoid mortgage fraud and foreclosure. The division also injected funding into the Utah Individual Development Account Network, which offers a 3-to-1 match on bank deposits for Utahns saving toward a first home, small business or higher education.
“These programs protect Utah homebuyers and precious Olene Walker dollars from being lost to predatory lending practices and poor money management,” said division director Gordon D. Walker. “Homeownership creates a higher sense of community; it holds neighborhoods together.”
Homeownership is out of reach for many households. With the median price for a single family home approaching $243,000 in many Utah communities, working families earning below $65,000 to $70,000 find it difficult to qualify for loans. Others risk losing their homes to variable rate mortgages, loss of employment and rising utility costs and property taxes.
The Housing Education Coalition this week dispatched a group of counselors to Denver for training on the latest foreclosure interventions.
“Lenders are willing to work with borrowers. There are options and homeowners have rights,” said coalition president Kim Datwyler. “But people need to be wary of scams.”
The Division of Housing and Community Development has joined with affordable housing partners across the country in supporting national Home Ownership Month and the Housing America 2007 campaign, ending June 30. The campaign is co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Housing Education Coalition of Utah.
For a complete directory of home buyer counseling agencies in Utah, visit: http://www.hecutah.org/
Other resources: http://www.hud.gov/local/index.cfm?state=ut http://www.realestate.utah.gov/ http://www.uidan.org/