The Portland Housing Center (PHC) believes that everyone deserves access to home ownership. Through education, counseling and financial services it has made homeownership possible for over 6,000 families since 1991. Not only does PHC provide quality in-house services centered on proactive planning, but it connects clients to myriad other services to ensure that they have the resources they need to be fully prepared homeowners. One such service is Innovative Changes’ credit building program.
Many PHC clients face barriers to buying a home due to lack of or poor credit. This prevents them from qualifying for mortgages or getting good mortgage rates. Imelda Ortiz, a Homebuying Specialist at PHC says “Innovative Changes truly helps us by giving our clients access to loans that not only help in rebuilding their [credit] history but help to rebuild their self confidence. Since they are not denied, they feel a sense of empowerment and a newfound commitment to changing their habits in order to reach a common goal of owning a home.”
At PHC, Imelda, works to assess her clients’ mortgage readiness and teaches Financial Fitness and Homebuying 101 classes (in English and Spanish). She serves on the Latino Advisory Committee to increase outreach and awareness of PHC’s services among the Latino communities and meets with clients one-on-one to set timelines and goals for saving and spending so people can live comfortably and sustainably even after they have purchased a home.
“Innovative Changes has been an invaluable resource for us ever since Carmina Lass came in to introduce the program!” remarks Imelda.
Imelda has referred many clients to IC$ who are deeply committed to building their credit. Imelda’s referrals always come into the IC$ office well informed about what’s on their credit report and determined to take action. IC$ credit builder loans are tools that have led to significant score improvements for our PHC cross-over clients. Imelda reflected about one client who recently came to her in December2010. She had no credit and now, thanks to Innovative Changes, her score is high enough to obtain a home loan.