Home Ownership Center in West Virginia is Helping Working Families Become Homeowners
For West Virginia families working with a tight budget, the dream of homeownership may seem out of reach. The non-profit, Community Works (CWWV), can help. The organization was set-up to be a one-stop-shop for future homebuyers. They do this by partnering with 27 other nonprofits throughout West Virginia – allowing them to offer future homeowners lots of assistance every step of the way.
Individuals or families considering homeownership can meet with a CWWV housing counselor in a one on one setting or through an online financial literacy class.
Lakeisha Lloyd, the CWWV’s housing counselor, explains, “My job is to counsel, one on one, with clients who call in who may not be quite ready to purchase a home, that are needing help with budgeting, building a savings account, building credit, things like that.”
Lloyd also leads the CWWV’s online education courses, which cover how to build savings and maintain good credit. From there, the CWWV’s team walks the potential homeowner through the entire home buying process. “We do everything in house from the very beginning, working with you to get yourself together, to be able to buy the house,” Lloyd said.
The CWWV offers home loans, down payment and closing cost assistance, and rehabilitation loans on a first-come-first-serve basis. The CWWV is a charter member of NeighborhoodWorks America, a congressionally chartered and funded nonpartisan nonprofit organization. NeighborhoodWorks America provides funding for CWWV’s lending programs.
Denise Crosby, the CWWV’s mortgage loan originator, explains, “We’re not a bank. We don’t sell our loans to generate more money. If we have the funding, we may be able to help you, but if we’ve run out of money, we’ll have to call you when we have the next round of funding.”
- New Homeownership Loans: The CWWV’s New Homeownership Loan provides low-income individuals with low-interest loans for use toward the purchase or construction of single-family housing. Interest rates are based on Area Median Income Percentage (AMI%) and borrowers are required to complete a Homebuyers Education course.
- Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance: The CWWV’s down payment and closing cost assistance program provides borrowers with interest rates based on AMI% and fixed monthly payments that coordinate with the mortgage loan.
- Rehabilitation Loans: The CWWV’s Rehabilitation Loans allow current homeowners to borrow up to $15,000 to improve their homes or remove safety hazards. Again, interest rates are based on AMI% and the loans are created with fixed monthly payments.
Financial hardship caused by the pandemic has put more homeowners in danger of losing their homes. Lloyd works with these homeowners to create a crisis budget. This is a complex process that looks at an individual’s overall spending and debt and helps them understand the best way to allocate their money to ride out a crisis.
While budget training has been a big part of their recent work, Lloyd and Cosby feel “providing potential homeowners with solid financial literacy [at] the inception will help them avoid losing their homes.”
The CWWV has been providing these services to West Virginia’s low-income residents since 1991. With the creation of their new brick-and-mortar Home Ownership Center in Kanawha County, the organization hopes to be able to assist more potential and current homeowners in the state.
Individuals or families interested in any of the CWWV’s services can fill out the online Client Prequalification Profile.