The Portland Housing Center received a national award last week for their high numbers of successful homeowners. The center received the NeighborWorks America CEO award for assisting 387 households to become homeowners in 2009.
As the rate of foreclosures in the nation are at a record-high numbers, the center boasts a promising statistic.
"We do it right on the front end," says Felicia Tripp, deputy director of the center, which focuses on providing assistance to first time homebuyers of all races, incomes, ages and career backgrounds.
Through education, low-interest mortgages, down payment assistance and an emphasis on finding a house that matches income, Tripp says their clients are well-prepared to buy a home that they can stay in long term. Tripp says there are no waiting lists to be served at the center.
"We're also the only homeownership center that serves a multicultural clientele," she said. "We're able to serve everyone."
Half the staff speaks fluent Spanish and consists of African Americans, Native Americans, Latinos, Asians and Caucasians.
"The goal of the Portland Housing Center is to find ways to promote sustainable homeownership through responsible lending, informed consumer choice, and effective individual guidance for all Portland Housing Center customers," said Peg Malloy, Executive Director, in a statement after receiving the award. "As the overall size of the housing market changes, our broad product menu to serve the needs of diverse home buyers along with our 'one-stop shopping' model will always differentiate PHC in the market and help Portland Housing Center to remain among the top producers of new homeowners each year."