Rep. DeLauro Lauds Initiative That Links Outreach to Mortgages

Bridgeport, CT – Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE), Chase Home Finance, Faith Community Development Corporation (CDC), Prince of Peace CDC, and the cities of Bridgeport and Stratford today announced the Bridgeport Homeownership Made Easy (H.O.M.E.) initiative. This is a comprehensive faith-based effort of 10 African American and Hispanic churches that will work together to prepare and educate more families for homeownership through counseling and access to low-down payment mortgages. The initiative eventually will grow to 100 churches.

“Knowing how to manage credit wisely is the first step to owning a home,” said Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) “The Homeownership Made Easy (H.O.M.E.) initiative will help individuals overcome barriers that prevent them from achieving the American dream of homeownership. I am delighted to learn H.O.M.E. has come to the Bridgeport/Stratford area.”

The Bridgeport initiative entails comprehensive financial literacy education through Freddie Mac’s CreditSmart® and CreditSmart® Español curriculum, pre-and post-purchase homebuyer counseling, and a wide range of low-down payment mortgages that will enable more families to overcome many of the key barriers to homeownership. These barriers include impaired credit, inadequate resources for down payment and a lack of information about homeownership. Freddie Mac, lenders and other organizations have recognized and understand the need for prospective homebuyers to work with trusted emissaries – the faith community – to help them learn about the benefits of homeownership.

“The cornerstone of this unique initiative is the network of churches who are working in concert to address barriers faced by minority homebuyers,” said Craig Nickerson, vice president of Expanding Markets for Freddie Mac. “The presence of church leaders in the community gives them a unique ability to reach people who may be facing obstacles to buying a home. Freddie Mac is delighted to be working with Chase Home Finance and the faith community in our efforts to expand homeownership opportunities in minority communities.”

How The Initiative Will Work

Homeownership Made Easy is an outreach and education initiative that helps low- and moderate-income minorities and immigrants achieve the American Dream of homeownership.

As part of this initiative, Faith CDC and Prince of Peace CDC will conduct outreach within each affiliated church, and will collaborate with Consumer Credit Counseling Services of New England (CCCS-SNE) to provide credit counseling and homebuyer education.

The churches participating in the initiative are Shiloh Baptist Church, Prince of Peace, Jesus Saves Ministries, New Vision Ministries, House of Prayer & Deliverance, Refuge Temple Church of God, Christian Revival Assembly of God, Turners Faith Temple, Rebirth Christian Church and 1st House of Prayer.

“The need for decent housing and Home Ownership education is great,” said Rev. Dr. Moses Mercedes, president, Prince of Peace CDC. “The resources are there. Our goal is to make available the resources and education for each family to have their own home.”

Once potential homebuyers complete the homeownership workshops and are ready to apply for a mortgage, they will be referred to Chase Home Finance, the mortgage division of JPMorgan Chase. Chase Home Finance is a mortgage lender with an ongoing commitment of increasing homeownership among minorities and other under-served communities across the economic spectrum. The commitment covers financing for buying a home, refinancing a home, and obtaining a home equity loan or line of credit.