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Opportunity Abounds for Home buyers of All Types

Guest blog by Diana Pando, The Resurrection Project

The Resurrection Project, is a member of the Forum’s Housing Acuerdo. To learn more about our Housing Acuerdo's goals and strategies click here, or email Savannah Clement at sclement@latinopolicy.org

This month is National Affordable Homeownership Month and to many immigrant families the American dream is still to own a home.

Jose Galvez is one of those people. He and his family had been renting apartments for years and his last rental experience put him on the edge. The apartment was small and the neighbors thought his son made too much noise. As time went on, so did the difficulties with his neighbors. He knew it was a priority to buy a home and he had to figure out a way to do it for his son.

Jose began trying to find out how to establish credit and apply for a regular home loan through a bank, but as an immigrant with a thin credit history, he had trouble finding a lender that was a good fit. He was then referred to The Resurrection Project (TRP) and began working with TRP Home Purchase Advisors to understand and establish credit. It was there he learned about Second Federal Credit Union’s (SFCU) immigrant home lending initiatives. SFCU’s mission is creating and protecting ownership and economic opportunity, and a key part of this is serving immigrant communities and providing them with a chance to build wealth.

“I think it’s incredible that we have the opportunity to get a loan to buy a home with this type of loan because we know not every bank will give us this opportunity,” says Jose.

What makes this lending initiative unique is that TRP works with individuals to help them establish credit and SFCU accepts non-traditional credit like utility bills and rent. SFCU also offers other products to assist with the establishment of credit, plus, they’ve customized the loans to meet the needs of the community through their guidelines, and don’t require applicants to buy one of their own foreclosed properties like some other banks do.

Currently, Second Federal Credit Union is leading the sector by doing cultural lending, essentially creating financial products tailored to the community they serve. According to a recent study by the Mortgage Bankers Association, “The number of foreign-born homeowners will increase by 2.8 million in the decade ending 2020, compared with a 2.4 million gain in the previous 10 years.” The impact of the immigrant loan is two-fold: it allows families to get their own home, and it’s a part of creating healthy communities by combating blight in neighborhoods and stabilizing the community one home at a time.

“When families have the opportunity to purchase a home they create healthy neighborhoods,” says Pedro Diaz, TRP Financial Wellness Coordinator. “It stabilizes communities by bringing in new homeowners and decreasing the number of vacant homes which bring vandalism and crime. It also creates a sense of pride in home ownership and creates a bond between the homeowner and community.”

TRP Home Purchase Advisors began by helping Jose with his credit, educating him about the home purchase process, and helping him qualify for the loan. The unique partnership between SFCU and TRP has helped many individuals navigate the process of homeownership through free guidance and education on topics such as establishing and improving credit, developing a savings plan for down payment, developing a spending plan to decrease debt, and understanding affordability and the overall home buying process. In addition, TRP has a team of in-house real estate brokers to help ready buyers find the right house. By coming to TRP, buyers find a one-stop-shop to help them purchase the home of their dreams.

What happens next, once an individual qualifies for a loan and becomes a ready buyer? TRP Home Purchase Advisors continue working with the buyer, helping them identify the right loan and guiding them until the loan closes. Ready buyers also have the added option to work with one of TRP’s non-commissioned Realtors to find the right home. Late last year, Jose finally became a homeowner.

“I was so happy to get my home,” he says, “because now my son can run and jump all he wants without anyone getting upset that he is making too much noise and that gives us a sense of peace.”

If you would like to learn more about immigrant friendly loans or participate in TRP’s Home Purchase program please call 312-880-1144 or go to www.resurrectionproject.org.  


Posted In: Housing Education, Housing, Affordable Housing