June 25, 2010
Since 1991, Portland Housing Center (PHC) has worked with the City and other public and private partners to provide counseling to homebuyers and homeowners in the Portland area. PHC provides financial and homebuyer education, down payment loans, a matched savings program, and post-purchase workshops to support successful homeownership. Over the past five years, HUD-certified PHC has helped more than 2,100 families purchase their first home.
Earlier this week, PHC announced an exciting new resource for first-time homebuyers in the Portland area. In partnership with the three other NeighborWorks America affiliates in Oregon, PHC now offerseHome America, an online homebuyer education program. The online course will increase access to education for first-time homebuyers in the Portland area, core to PHC's mission.
eHome America was developed by Community Ventures Corporation, a fellow NeighborWorks America affiliate organization, and is based on the Realizing the American Dream curriculum currently offered by PHC. The online course better meets the needs of people in remote locations, with mobility challenges, or who have scheduling and/or child care needs that make it hard to attend a homebuyer education workshop in person.
The eHome America course is the approved form of 8-hour homebuyer education for USDA Rural Housing loans; has an interactive format uses a combination of videos, text and quizzes to provide a rich learning experience; is available in English and Spanish; lets folks complete the course at their own pace; and requires enrollees to complete at least an hour of one-on-one counseling with a PHC HUD-certified HomeBuying Specialist to be eligible for a certificate of completion.
The Portland Housing Bureau works to make sure every Portlander has a safe, decent, affordable place to call home. PHC has long been an important partner in this effort, and PHB is proud to support their work.