Portland, MAINE, July 24, 2013 — Avesta Housing’s HomeOwnership Center and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland have recently established a partnership to help prepare incoming and current homeowners in the Habitat program.
The Avesta HomeOwnership Center provides first-time homebuyer education and ongoing support to the families buying homes through Habitat of Humanity of Greater Portland. The HomeOwnership Center is also providing support and one-on-one counseling to existing homeowners in the program.
“Our organizations have a similar mission: to provide sustainable homeownership opportunities to people who need them,” said David Stolt, Home Ownership Services Manager at Avesta Housing. “Research shows that homebuyers who receive pre-purchase housing counseling are one-third less likely to fall behind on their mortgage payments. This partnership gives buyers the knowledge they need to be successful homeowners and contributors to their communities.”
“This is a wonderful benefit for homeowners,” said Amy Dowler, Director of Operations for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland. “There isn’t another service like this in the area, and it’s a great opportunity for our clients.”
Nyapeni, a prospective Habitat Homebuyer, completed the course in May. “It was really a good class, very helpful,” she said. “They teach you a lot of things about how to manage your money and how to budget for savings. They teach you that homeownership is a commitment.”
Established in June 2012, the Avesta HomeOwnership Center serves as a one-stop shop for low- and moderate-income families looking to buy their first home, improve the home they own or avoid foreclosure. The center is one of 100 NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Centers around the country. Nationally, Habitat for Humanity has collaborated with NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Centers, and this partnership brings that relationship to the local level.
About Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland
Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness in Cumberland County and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action. Habitat invites people of all backgrounds, races and religions to build houses together in partnership with families in need. The organization has built 57 homes in southern Maine since 1985, and through the international tithe program has served over135 families. In 2012 three families put the demoralization of substandard housing behind them. Recently, Habitat signed a commitment with the Town of Freeport that will result in eight new affordable homes over the next several years and is nearing final approval on a multi-home subdivision in the Town of Scarborough that will bring more affordable housing to that community.
About Avesta Housing
For more than 40 years, Avesta Housing has provided and advocated for affordable housing. An award-winning agency, Avesta has grown to become the largest nonprofit developer in northern New England and one of the country’s most innovative leaders in affordable housing. Avesta manages a portfolio of more than 1,900 apartments in 31 Maine communities including Portland, Windham, Saco, Rockland and Kennebunk.