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Introduction Th e Aff ordable Housing Centers of America’s New Beginning Strategic Plan: 2011–2013 is intended

Introduction

Th e Aff ordable Housing Centers of America’s New Beginning Strategic Plan: 2011–2013 is intended to chart our course for the next three years.

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Three core priorities through 2013:

Protect the American Dream through foreclosure prevention and other home-retention eff orts

Empower individuals, families and communities to secure and maintain aff ordable housing

Create an eff ective public voice through alliances and partnerships to promote aff ordable homeownership in America

T hrough these core priorities, we propose to transform ourselves by building on our core strengths, improving our organizational ca-

pacities and adapting to changing opportunities and threats to our constituency. We also present our new organizational structure and expanded board of di- rectors that will oversee implementation of the plan.

While we are making major changes, we will con- tinue to off er value to the low- and moderate-income people who depend on us and our partners. AHCOA has a long history of advancing housing opportuni- ties for families that traditionally have been off the radar for the housing industry but who share the de- sire of many Americans to purchase a home and build a better life. We will build on this legacy in the fu- ture, as the need that inspired AHCOA’s creation in 1985 remains no less relevant today than it was then.

Moving forward, AHCOA faces a changed terrain. Right-wing attacks, the severest recession since the

Great Depression, along with rising unemployment, unprecedented foreclosures and decreasing house val- ues are some of the challenges we face. Th us, new ap- proaches and innovative policies, along with our ac- tive engagement are needed. We must also continue to invest in our organizational capacity in order to continue improving. Lastly, we recognize that most of the good work we do goes unrecognized. We are committed to changing our public face by publiciz- ing our successes and responding eff ectively to critics.

We envision a time when every family that wants to own an aff ordable, safe and decent home will have the means to do so, and we stand ready to do our part in making this vision a reality. As always, our dedi- cated staff remains the heart and soul of our organi- zation. We deeply appreciate the loyalty and patience they have shown. We also look forward to continu- ing to work with our lender partners, fi nancial sup- porters and others who make our work possible.

Our Mission Our Mission A HCOA’s mission is to empower low- and moderate-income individuals, families, and

Our Mission

Our Mission

A HCOA’s mission is to empower low- and moderate-income individuals, families, and communities to obtain and keep aff ordable,

stable, safe, and decent housing. We accomplish this

Our Mission Our Mission A HCOA’s mission is to empower low- and moderate-income individuals, families, and

through public and private part- nerships that support home- ownership counseling and ed- ucation, access to fi nance, hous- ing development, and advocacy.

Our Mission Our Mission A HCOA’s mission is to empower low- and moderate-income individuals, families, and

Our Passion

We are committed to overcoming disparities in hous- ing by taking on the hardest cases, and creating and applying innovative best solutions for our clients. We are dedicated to the low- and moderate-income clients and communities we serve. We lead with initiative, fol- low through with action, confront the status quo and confi rm through partnerships and policy advocacy.

Our Values

We impact our mission on a national scale because we are able to work tirelessly with individuals in the com- munity and passionately represent their interests at the highest levels of fi nance and government. We carry out this work with a commitment to the following values:

  • Empathy for the people we serve

T

he staff of Aff ordable Housing Centers of America help people who

need it most

...

I

have seen the benefi ts of this work up close, understand

how much they accomplish, and look forward to working with you.

–Henry Cisneros

Executive Chairman, CityView

  • Commitment to the highest ethical standards and transparency

  • Empowerment of the disenfranchised

  • Respect for clients, staff , and partners

  • Focus on delivering results for clients and partners

  • Ensuring a diverse and inclusive organization

Ethics Ethical Standards and Education: The Foundation of Trust O ur mission demands that we attain

Ethics

Ethics Ethical Standards and Education: The Foundation of Trust O ur mission demands that we attain

Ethical Standards and Education: The Foundation of Trust

O ur mission demands that we attain and sustain the highest level of public trust and internal integrity. Th e staff has developed, and the board has approved, “Th e Foundation of Trust: Our Code of Con- duct” to assist all AHCOA employees, volunteers, and board members in fulfi lling our collective eth-

ical and legal obligations. Th ree overarching principles, Integrity, Service, and Excellence, and the follow- ing eight standards help to defi ne our conduct in everything that we do on behalf of AHCOA and its mission:

Honesty:

Act with integrity and honesty when carrying out our duties for AHCOA.

Respect:

Respect others and support and protect diversity.

Commitment:

Demonstrate a commitment to AHCOA and its mission and disclose any confl icts of interest or potential confl icts of interest. We understand that AHCOA is committed to its clients and stakeholders.

Confi dentiality:

Protect confi dential information.

Transparency:

Be open and candid about our activities and operations.

Leadership and Governance:

Manage and govern carefully and honestly to advance the mission of AHCOA.

Responsibility:

Manage our resources and time responsibly, maximizing our ability to advance the mission of the organization.

Compliance:

Comply with our Code and the rules of AHCOA, as well as federal, state, and local laws. We will seek guidance concerning, and report breaches of, our Code.

BoardSource®, a national organization specializing in nonprofi t governance is- sues, conducted a company-wide train- ing on the new Code, and the Code is always uppermost in the daily undertak- ings of the board and staff .

AHCOA also appointed an Ethics Offi cer, who is available to employees to answer questions about ethics issues and investi- gate possible violation of AHCOA’s ethi- cal standards.

BoardSource®, a national organization specializing in nonprofi t governance is- sues, conducted a company-wide train- ing

Our mission demands that we attain and sustain the highest level of public trust and internal integrity.

BoardSource®, a national organization specializing in nonprofi t governance is- sues, conducted a company-wide train- ing

Chi Huynh

Housing Counselor, Houston

“I love being in a position to help people who remain committed to make things work despite their limited English language skills and challenging experiences in obtaining a loan they can

aff ord.”

If anyone understands the chal- lenges immigrants face in trying to buy or a keep a home it is Chi. She came to the U.S. from Vietnam with her family in 1982. Since Decem- ber 2006, Chi has been a Housing Counselor in AHCOA’s Houston of- fi ce. Her language skills in English, Vietnamese and French and her

dedication to her work help her guide people through the American fi nancial and credit system.

“For most of my clients, buy- ing a home is the realization of years of sacrifi ce to save for a down payment and to establish a solid credit his- tory. Th ey need a guide and an advocate.”

BoardSource®, a national organization specializing in nonprofi t governance is- sues, conducted a company-wide train- ing

Wanika Ross

Call Center Team Lead, Chicago

“Don’t give up. Don’t let your home go without a fi ght. You are not alone and we will do everything we can to help you stay in your house.”

Wanika Ross works on the front lines of America’s foreclosure crisis. She has been the HELP Call Center Team Lead for AHCOA for two years and counts over ten years of call center customer service experience. Under her leadership, the call center has received up to 14,000 calls a month from people at all stages of the foreclosure pro- cess and from all walks of life.

“With three boys of my own, I can understand the need to have an aff ordable and stable home to raise a family. Th e thing I like most about working here is helping others stabilize their lives and informing them of additional resources in their communities that they can tap into.”

Core Strategies Protect the American Dream Through Foreclosure Prevention & Other Home-Retention Eff orts Our goal

Core Strategies

Core Strategies Protect the American Dream Through Foreclosure Prevention & Other Home-Retention Eff orts Our goal

Protect the American Dream Through Foreclosure Prevention & Other Home-Retention Eff orts

Our goal is to signifi cantly increase the number of low- and moderate-income families who are able to save their homes through restructuring their mortgag- es, and keep the equity they have built up through refi - nancing and loan modifi cations. We will also enhance our operational controls over the work being done, in- cluding better documentation of all case activities, by improved training to maximize staff retention and pro- duce more successful partnerships to fund our eff orts.

  • Ensure Superior Performance for Clients: Im- prove the success rate in our client work.

  • Ensure Superior and Well-documented Perfor- mance for Partners: Strengthen the documenta- tion of results and work performed, which increas- es accountability with partners and our ability to maintain and grow funding.

  • Staff Eff ectiveness: Raise experience level of coun- seling and negotiating staff and ensure the full in- ternalization of AHCOA’s code of conduct and eth- ical standards.

  • Program Funding: Restore, maintain, and expand funding through government and public sector partnerships to fund these eff orts.

  • Generate Clients: Connect more families in need to our foreclosure prevention services.

Core Strategies Protect the American Dream Through Foreclosure Prevention & Other Home-Retention Eff orts Our goal

Empower Individuals, Families & Communities to Secure & Maintain Aff ordable Housing

Our goal of developing a new model for achieving sustainable and aff ordable homeownership for our cli- ents in the aft ermath of the housing crisis includes new mortgage products that support this model. We will en- sure that over-restrictive underwriting standards and excessive down-payment and closings costs do not pre- clude low- and moderate-income people from home- ownership. We will maintain our fi rst-time home-buy- ing counseling capacity and will work with partners to develop new, sustainable models of homeownership.

  • Homebuyer and Homeowner Counseling Capac- ity: Maintain and grow our staff capacity for home purchase, refi nancing and home-equity counseling and education.

  • Reverse Mortgage Counseling: Explore opportu- nities to provide reverse-mortgage counseling as a way to promote our vision and expand our coun- seling expertise to seniors.

  • Partnerships: Develop new mortgage products and programs with lending partners and others in the housing industry that support and are suited for low- and moderate-income families.

  • Consumer Protection: Protect consumers from fraud, predatory lending, fair-lending violations, mortgage-lending abuse, and abusive policies and practices.

  • Product and Program Innovation: Research and develop new services and products that support homeownership sustainability.

Create an Eff ective Public Voice Through Alliances & Partnerships to Promote Aff ordable Homeown- ership

Create an Eff ective Public Voice Through Alliances & Partnerships to Promote Aff ordable Homeown- ership in America

Our goal is to create a powerful public voice, both nationally and local- ly, capable of advancing the vision of aff ordable, stable, safe, and decent housing for all. We will pursue this by engaging clients, other housing ser- vice providers, advocates for low- and moderate-income people, and pri- vate-sector companies engaged in building, selling, and fi nancing housing.

  • Partnerships: Ensure, maintain, grow, and negotiate new partnerships with housing industry private-sector participants, as well as govern- ment, foundations, and community organizations that allow us to pur- sue our mission.

  • Alliances: Partner with organizations with low- and moderate-income constituencies, such as labor, faith-based, and advocacy groups, as well as real-estate associations and consumer advocates to reach aff ected constituents and advocate for public policy.

  • Housing Champion Cities: Develop a pilot program to grow our local counseling offi ces into largely self-suffi cient, local operations that pro- vide top-rated services and are able to develop local partnerships and initiatives to promote and advance aff ordable homeownership in their communities.

  • Research and Advocacy: Utilize the extensive experience and data gen- erated through our counseling and local work to frame, inform, and impact broader housing debate and policies.

  • Client Engagement: Maintain regular contact with clients and support- ers to share organizational success, spread consumer protection and fi - nancial literacy messages and capture regular feedback.

Create an Eff ective Public Voice Through Alliances & Partnerships to Promote Aff ordable Homeown- ership

Felix Harris

Housing Manager, Los Angeles

“Our strength comes from the relationships we have built in the community.”

When Felix retired in 1990 from the Army, he went to work as a housing counselor for Consumer Credit Counseling Services and was later promoted to Housing Director. He received his certifi cation in Housing Counseling from Howard Univer- sity. He also has received training in preparing reverse mortgages and the fi rst time home-buying process. In 2002, he observed AHCOA staff teach people about the process of buying a fi rst home and was so impressed he applied for a job.

“Th e agency is here to help people help themselves. Th is is a dynamic agency. We do not simply tell people what to do but we get them involved in the process so they understand their role and how their credit aff ects the rest of their lives. We show people how to get back on their feet—get back on track with their home. We help them deal with the ob- stacles life has thrown their way now to help them also manage other problems that come their way later.”

Program Goals & Expected Results Protect the American Dream Through Foreclosure Prevention & Other Home-Retention Eff

Program Goals & Expected Results

Protect the American Dream Through Foreclosure Prevention & Other Home-Retention Eff orts

Results:

  • By 2013, 40,000 households provided with foreclo- sure prevention counseling.

Program Goals & Expected Results Protect the American Dream Through Foreclosure Prevention & Other Home-Retention Eff
  • By 2013, 20,000 homeowners with positive resolu- tions, including loan modifi cations, thus enabling these homeowners to retain their homes and the equity they have built up.

  • By 2013, 70 percent of clients would recommend AHCOA to their family and friends for services.

  • By 2011, develop new foreclosure options and ser- vices to help homeowners no longer able to main- tain their homes.

Empower Individuals, Families & Communities to Secure & Maintain Aff ordable Housing

Results:

  • By 2013, 20,000 households provided with home- buyer education and counseling resulting in 5,000 new homeowners.

Program Goals & Expected Results Protect the American Dream Through Foreclosure Prevention & Other Home-Retention Eff
  • $1 billion in new mortgages for low- and moderate- income families by 2013.

  • Yearly, advocate new safe, aff ordable mortgage products that protect the consumer and minimize risk to the lender.

Build the Public Voice, Alliances, & Partnerships to Promote Aff ordable Homeownership in America

Results:

  • By 2011, cement “team player” reputation by col- laborating actively with other organizations, par- ticipating in issue-specifi c and industry coalitions and conferences, and participating actively in col- lective consumer protection eff orts.

Program Goals & Expected Results Protect the American Dream Through Foreclosure Prevention & Other Home-Retention Eff
  • By 2011, establish “voice of counseling” reputation by showcasing success and expertise in media pub- lications and building list of media friends.

  • By 2013, become “go-to experts” on homeowner- ship issues nationwide and respected as a primary source by lawmakers, clients, other nonprofi ts, ser- vice organizations, government, the general public and the media.

  • Annually, frame the debate on aff ordable housing and provide leadership to other groups and policy makers by providing relevant studies, position pa- pers and media releases. Do some of these projects in conjunction with other groups and universities.

  • Every year, identify key issues and methods to bring public and political attention to them.

  • By 2011, host annual policy/legislative conference.

  • By 2010, develop pilot for transforming cities into Aff ordable Housing Champions. By 2011, launch pilot in half of the cities; launch model in the re- maining cities by 2013.