North Carolina IDA Program Has 363 Home Closings with Only 6 Foreclosures
AFI grantee United Way of Forsyth County (UW-Forsyth), North Carolina has helped more than 350 people purchase homes with its “New Century IDA Program.” Despite the current housing crisis, very few participants have experienced a foreclosure.
“We…recently went back on all of our homebuyers to do a property search to determine if they still owned a home,” said Dan Kornelis, Housing Director for Forsyth County and who partners with UW-Forsyth. In doing so, UW-Forsyth found that of the 363 homes that have been purchased through their IDA program, only six have been foreclosed on.
By working closely with IDA participants as they choose their home mortgages, the New Century IDA Program has been able to ensure that no predatory lending takes place. Of the six foreclosures, two were due to deaths in the family, three were due to changes in employment situations, and one was due to other issues.
Staff believe UW-Forsyth’s success can be attributed to the program’s “personal success coaches” that are paired with participants. The success coaches perform many functions such as checking eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), helping participants apply for car loans, and generally reinforcing the skills taught at financial education classes.
The program has had some difficulty in collecting information on homeowners that are delinquent on their payments. According to Kornelis, program staff are in the process of developing an early warning system which would be set up at the time of purchase. “In short, we would ask the first mortgage lender, with permission from the homebuyer, to notify our home ownership counseling folks when a delinquency notice is sent to the homebuyer. This could easily be done with an email.”
Nevertheless, the results demonstrated by UW-Forsyth serve as an example of the promise IDA programs hold. This model emphasizes significant support for participants through high-quality financial education and personalized success coaching.
If you have a similar success story or innovative practice you would like to share via IDA Resources Update, email the AFI Resource Center at email@example.com or call 1-866-778-6037.
This article originally ran in the IDAresources.org Update Newsletter on 06/25/09 and is available for archival purposes.