What is the role of housing education and counseling in the future housing economy and finance system?
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The inability of so many consumers to keep their homes during the foreclosure crisis has had a devastating impact on the housing economy and finance system. A significant lesson we can learn from the crisis is that having educated, well-informed buyers is critical to achieving sustainable homeownership. And sustainable homeownership is key to stabilizing communities and strengthening the economy.
Housing education and counseling is crucial to helping many individuals and families achieve and maintain the dream of homeownership. Housing education and counseling provides consumers with the information and tools they need to fully understand the home buying process, to ensure that they are financially capable to manage their mortgage and other costs of homeownership, and to prepare them for the responsibilities of maintaining a home. The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is a proud supporter of the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling because they help consumers become well-informed buyers leading to sustainable, long-term homeownership opportunities.
NAR works to facilitate strong partnerships and collaboration between Realtors® and housing counseling organizations—supporting consumer outreach and educations programs, facilitating the creation of consumer information sites, funding rental and downpayment assistance programs, and convening issue forums to highlight innovative programs to educate consumers and address their housing needs.
The role of housing education and counseling is more important now than ever. As consumers struggle to recover from the impact of the foreclosure crisis, to rebuild their credit and assess their financial position after losing their home, which represents a substantial part of their personal wealth, they need access to counselors with the knowledge and expertise to help them resolve financial problems, determine household needs, and access tools and resources to move forward.
Lora McCray is the Manager of Housing Opportunity for the National Association of Realtors.
Welcome to the BPC Housing Commission expert forum! This forum is intended to foster interactive and substantive discussion about pressing housing issues. Each month contributors from different parts of the housing sector will be invited to respond to a discussion topic. Guest posts will feature prominently on BPC’s website, as well as be shared regularly with Housing Commissioners to help inform their work.
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Expert bloggers are not members of the BPC Housing Commission. Any views expressed on this forum do not necessarily represent the views of the Housing Commission, its Co-Chairs, or the Bipartisan Policy Center.