Free Online Financial Tool Now Available for First-Time Homebuyers
COLUMBUS, OH – May 26, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) is partnering with The Ohio State University (OSU) to launch the Homeownership Investment Program. The program will provide additional support for OHFA homeowners before and after they purchase their home, to increase their mortgage sustainability and overall financial well-being. The new program will enhance the streamlined homebuyer education currently offered by the Agency in conjunction with OHFA’s successful affordable mortgage program for first-time homebuyers.
“The Homeownership Investment Program will equip borrowers in OHFA’s First-Time Homebuyer Program with the financial planning skills necessary to sustain homeownership, build savings and obtain long-term financial security,” said Doug Garver, Executive Director of the Agency.
One of the primary components of the Homeownership Investment Program is a free, interactive online financial health “check-up” called MyMoneyPath. This online tool gives homebuyers a snapshot of where they are today in five key areas of financial health, and where they may want to make some modifications in the future. MyMoneyPath is now a required part OHFA’s streamlined education program in addition to a budget worksheet and homebuyer quiz. Each of these tools are available to all homebuyers purchasing homes through OHFA’s First-Time Homebuyer program who are required to complete pre-purchase homebuyer education after receiving down payment assistance.
After completing MyMoneyPath, up to 750 homebuyers will be invited to participate in a pilot program to receive additional free financial planning tools and a $25 gift card. Those who elect to participate in the program will receive detailed results of their financial check-up by email, and will be provided with additional financial planning resources at no cost to them.
The results of this innovative program will provide replicable, evidence-based practices to improve the Agency’s First-Time Homebuyer Program and to be shared as a model for policy and practice at the local, state and national levels.
“It is important to continue to provide support to homebuyers after they purchase their new home,” said Dr. Stephanie Moulton, Assistant Professor at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs. “The Homeownership Investment Program will allow us to provide borrowers with critical financial support, and evaluate the effectiveness of this support on over-all financial well-being, thereby improving the program for future first-time homebuyers.”
OSU researchers, in partnership with OHFA, have been awarded competitive funding for this pilot project through an Outreach and Engagement grant at OSU, and from the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin.
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About the Ohio Housing Finance Agency
OHFA is a self-supporting quasi-public agency governed by an eleven-member board. The Agency uses federal and state resources to provide housing opportunities for families and individuals through programs designed to develop, preserve and sustain affordable housing throughout the State of Ohio. OHFA is also an active partner in the interagency team which coordinates the Save the Dream Ohio initiative designed to stop preventable foreclosures.
Email: aalston (at) ohiohome (dot) org