The Dream of Homeownership is Still Alive, Even for Millennials
by Clemente Arturo Mojica, President & CEO
While the peak home buying season is behind us, it’s always a good time to consider homeownership when armed with the right information and financial tools. In fact, a new public opinion survey about the housing market from NeighborWorks America found that the overwhelming majority of people in the country see homeownership as an important part of the American Dream, an aspiration with which I couldn’t agree more. But in recent years, the national homeownership rate has been dropping, and in many of the communities where Neighborhood Partnership Housing Services (NPHS) is working, not as many first-time home buyers are entering the market, including Millennials (adults aged 18 to 34 years).
I believe that the foreclosure crisis is a principal contributor to the decline in homeownership and for the tentativeness of first-time buyers, but other forces are at work too. The NeighborWorks America survey and intelligence from our own Millennial Advisory Committee (MAC), tell us some of these key factors holding back home buying among first-timers are: confusion about the impact student loan debt has on qualifying for a mortgage, uncertainty about the complexity of the mortgage process, low savings rates due to the high cost of rent, and too little information about financial help getting to the people who could benefit. NPHS and other nonprofit housing organizations are able to assist in addressing most of these misconceptions to homeownership. Read more…
Strengthening Organizational Capacity for Broader Impact
By designing and developing programs and services that are transformative, impactful and meaningful, NPHS continues to amplify its work around Affordable Housing, Neighborhood Stabilization and Revitalization, Environment Sustainability and Community Wealth Building and Preservation. We cannot successfully advance our work in these areas of impact unless we strategically manage our programs, build capacity and invest in our workforce.
NPHS has worked hard to expand its organizational capacity while delivering high-quality services and fostering a culture committed to ongoing innovation. We recognize the value brought by each employee’s capabilities, contributions and potential and we are committed to developing our human capital through recruitment, retention and training in order to improve overall productivity and achieve mission success. NPHS would like to introduce some new faces that have joined the NPHS family and highlight older ones that have taken on new roles to advance our community development work.
Director of Initiatives and Innovations
Jenny Ortiz has over ten years of professional experience in affordable housing and community development working with both private and non-profit sectors. Jenny has extensive real estate project management experience in both residential and commercial developments throughout Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. Jenny collaborates with senior leadership to develop and implement programs and services that enhance, sustain and scale NPHS’ community and economic development lines of business. Her inspiration is driven by her commitment to create sustainable and positive social and economic impact for low to moderate income communities. Her skill set in research and development will drive programmatic and organizational innovations, and provide operational support for growth strategies within all departments. Jenny earned an Executive MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, a Master’s Degree from UCLA in Urban Planning and Liberal Arts Bachelor Degree from UC Berkeley. She also holds a California Department of Real Estate Brokers License.
Vice President, Redevelopment Strategies
As a fifteen-year veteran in housing construction, Adam has rehabilitated over 100 homes throughout his career. Adam oversees the organization’s Design and Construction and Realty departments and works with the team on new housing construction and property rehabilitation projects that advance our work around affordable housing and neighborhood stabilization and revitalization. Adam and his team also manage NPHS’ Affordable Housing Rental Program which consist of scattered-site single and multi-family homes. As a Civil Affairs NCO for the United States Army, Adam managed contract bidding as it pertained to awarding contracts to local general contractors throughout Afghanistan. Adam graduated with an MBA from the University of Phoenix and has a Rehabilitation Specialist Certification from NeighborWorks America.
Vice President, Programs and Services
Carlos Tena has fifteen years of mortgage Lending, financial services and operations experience. Carlos manages oversees the day to day operations of our Education and Counseling, Community Building and Engagement, and Community Lending and Investment departments. Programs and services offered through these departments include, homebuyer education and counseling, homeownership preservation, financial wellness training, reverse mortgage services and secondary mortgage financing. In addition to his role at NPHS, Carlos currently serves on the National Homeownership Center Advisory Committee for NeighborWorks America.
Vice President, Strategic Advancement and Communications
Victor Ramirez has over fifteen years of experience in community economic development working in the cross-sector industries of the public, private and non-profit sectors. Victor is responsible for overseeing all resource development, marketing and outreach activities, and government affairs for NPHS. This includes developing and managing relationships with corporations, government institutions, foundations and other industry funders to develop private and public capital to support NPHS’ areas of impact. Prior to working for NPHS, Victor worked in the financial services industry for a global financial institution and was responsible for implementing their local Community Reinvestment Act strategy including community investments and charitable contributions. Victor has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California, and a Master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University in Community Economic Development.
Free Income Tax Assistance Provided at NPHS
Rancho Cucamonga, CA – Did you know that there are 5 seasons in the year? Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Tax Season! For the upcoming 2016 tax season, NPHS will continue to partner with the County of San Bernardino to offer FREE Federal and California state income tax return preparation and electronic filing services to eligible low-to-moderate income individuals and families through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. VITA offers free tax help to people who earned a household income of up to $54,000 in 2015. Basic tax returns are completed and e-filed by IRS trained and certified volunteers who make sure important refundable tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) are correctly claimed.
Qualified taxpayers can be eligible to receive up to $6242 for the EITC, which can make a difference in supporting a family’s financial needs and helping them achieve self-sufficiency. The EITC and CTC tax credits were developed to help provide an incentive for employment. Every year, thousands of families miss out on these refundable tax credits due to lack of awareness on how to claim the credits on their tax returns. The additional money that taxpayers receive as part of their tax refunds helps make ends meet, stabilizes families, and has proven to help boost the local economy.
VITA services are available to qualified residents regardless of the county they live in. NPHS will offer VITA services at their main office location at 9551 Pittsburgh Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga on the following dates in 2016:
Wednesday, February 3 1:00pm-5:00pm
Wednesday, March 2 1:00pm-5:00pm
Wednesday, March 16 1:00pm-5:00pm
Free VITA tax preparation is available now by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call (909) 347-1255 or (760) 552-6176.
City of Riverside Down Payment Assistance Program
Up to $50,000 Available for Eligible Homebuyers
The City of Riverside offers up to $50,000 for each eligible household to be used toward down payment for the purchase of a home within the City of Riverside. It is intended for low- to moderate-income home buyers who can afford monthly mortgage payments but do not have enough to pay the initial home purchase down payment and non-reoccurring closing costs. The goal of the program is to increase homeownership in Riverside.
If you have questions regarding the application process, please contact the Riverside Community and Economic Development Department at (951) 826-5371 or go to www.riversideca.gov/housing/downpaymentassistance.asp.
Free Upcoming Homebuyer Classes
To register for one of the classes listed below or for more information, please call NPHS at (909) 988-5979.
Click on each calendar below to view a PDF version of the workshops.