CRF in the news

July 27, 2010

A Place to Call Home

By Frank Altman

Rasheda Pettiford just needed a place to call home.

In September 2009, Pettiford, a single mom raising two daughters, watched helplessly as her landlord raised the rent on the St. Paul apartment she had lived in since 2007. She had finally started working as a carpenter, after spending three years in training. But she simply couldn't afford the newly raised rent. With less-than-perfect credit and no other options, Pettiford moved into a friend's house.

Thanks to the Sustainable Home Ownership Program (SHOP) and high-touch servicing from CRF, everything has changed. With a new job and her credit on the mend, Pettiford is on the way to owning her own home - something that was unthinkable just months earlier.

CRF has been creating success stories like Pettiford's all across Minnesota and California for the past 14 years. Now, a $125,000 grant from Chase will enable CRF to bring its high-touch servicing approach to affordable housing organizations in six new states - FL, IL, MI, NY, OH and TX.

Pettiford's success story never would have been possible with a traditional bank loan. CRF's partners in the program, the Greater Metropolitan Housing Corporation and Dayton's Bluff Neighborhood Housing Service, offered financing for Pettiford's foreclosed property, while CRF provided the necessary, highly personalized, hands-on servicing.

SHOP helps borrowers transition to homeownership after successfully making their contract-for-deed payments. The CRF servicing program lets borrowers set their own payment dates and creates a dedicated account for their mortgages so they don't have to worry about making their payments on time.

CRF typically works for cities and non-profit housing organizations that don't have large servicing portfolios, and therefore not enough volume to justify a staff or sophisticated set of servicing tools. Banks that offer servicing don't usually want to deal with these borrowers, who often require more than the standard cookie-cutter approach.

As we've seen, this cookie-cutter approach has contributed to the foreclosure crisis, which is rampant all across our country. So we'd rather intervene, offer personalized attention and find solutions that can help people like Pettiford find - and keep - a place to call home.

See Rasheda talk about the importance of a stable, permanent home for her daughters here: http://wcco.com/video/?id=72528@wcco.dayport.com

Posted by: CRFUSA

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