NPHS evaluates the financial risks of target populations and provides resources to aid individuals in overcoming financial disparity. In the spirit of Financial Capability Month, NPHS is highlighting an employee who has significantly impacted the community through Economic Inclusion programs. Jennifer Cervantes, the Community Building and Engagement Coordinator at NPHS, regularly presents important and helpful material at Economic Inclusion Workshops around the community. She regularly informs the public about the importance of tax preparation, reverse mortgages for seniors, and down payment assistance for homeownership.
For example, Jennifer conducted an Economic Inclusion Workshop at the Sacred Heart Church in Rancho Cucamonga on February 27th. At the workshop, Jennifer highlighted Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)—a program in which NPHS partners with the County of San Bernardino to offer free Federal and California State income tax return preparation and electronic filing services eligible low-to-moderate income individuals and families. Due to the success and community appreciation, we have added an additional fifth VITA workshop to be held this Wednesday, April 6th, from 1pm to 5pm.
At the workshop, Jennifer also highlighted NPHS’ Reverse Mortgage Counseling program. With the help of April Deleon—the Reverse Mortgage Counseling Supervisor at NPHS—she informed attendees about their ability to right-size or down-size with Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) to purchase. Identity theft prevention, fraud protection, and credit are also emphasized when addressing seniors in the community. These topics are usually covered at NPHS’ Financial Wellness for Seniors workshops. Providing counseling and assistance to seniors is a vital piece of NPHS’ mission. As such, NPHS has helped 811 seniors with reverse mortgage counseling.
NPHS offers a variety of down payment assistance programs for residents living in the Inland Empire, all of which Jennifer emphasized at the Economic Inclusion Workshop. These down payment assistance programs give families opportunities to fulfill their dream of home ownership. Serving low-to-moderate income families, NPHS offers low-interest rate loans which dramatically reduce monthly mortgage payments. In March 2016, NPHS launched a new down payment assistance program—the Opportunity Down Payment Loan. This down payment program offers up to $20,000 for each eligible household to be used towards down payment for the purchase of a home within the Inland Valley. The program is intended for low-to-moderate income (120% AMI and below) first time home buyers who can afford monthly mortgage payments but do not have quite enough saved to pay the initial home purchase down payment and non-reoccurring closing costs to get into a home. The goal of the program is to increase homeownership in Inland Valley.