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Special Recognition

Housing Education Program Receives $100,000 Grant from the Fannie Mae Foundation

On December 3rd, 2004 the Fannie Mae Foundation presented the Housing Education Program with a check for $100,000. This generous award was bestowed to us so that we may continue to provide much needed housing counseling to low- and moderate-income people in Northern California.

Housing Education Program Wins Mutual of America’s Community Partnership Award

In 1996, Mutual of America Life Insurance Company created the Community Partnership Award to highlight the important contributions that nonprofit organizations, in partnerships with public, private and other social sector organizations, make to society. Every year Mutual of America Foundation recognizes ten organizations for their ability to stimulate new ideas in addressing social issues.

Among the organizations recognized this year is Off Reservation Home Assistance Program in partnership with CCCS of San Francisco.

For many Native Americans living on tribal lands, housing conditions are dismal. A long history of high unemployment, lack of financial education, insufficient income to accumulate savings and a lack of affordable housing options have led to dependency and depression, and have put home ownership out of reach for most.

The Off Reservation Home Assistance Program has made homeownership more readily available to Native Americans from Northern California’s Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake and Butte counties. This partnership between the Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority and Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco uses HUD grants earmarked for building homes on tribal lands to help tribal members buy home off the reservation.

To ensure participants not only understand how to buy a home, but have the financial aptitude to keep it, they are required to attend personal financial and money management courses provided by CCCS of San Francisco.

The Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority provides assistance with the loan for a down payment. The agency also provides support throughout the buying process.

Since the inception in 1998, the Off Reservation Home Assistance Program has helped 53 Native American individuals and families buy homes and, in the process, achieve financial stability and independence.

During the Luncheon organized by Mutual of America on April 28, 2005 to honor the Northern Circle Indian Housing Authority and Consumer Credit Counseling of San Francisco Darlene Tooley, Executive Director of the Northern Circle thanked CCCS and it’s Housing Education Program for the outstanding service provided to the program participants, making it possible for their dreams of homeownership to come true.

Among many people recognized at the Luncheon for their personal contribution to the program, were Rick Harper—for the leadership in collaboration of the two organizations, Anton Mares, former Housing Manager, Erica Sandberg, and the whole staff of the Housing Education Program of CCCS of San Francisco.

Rick accepted the award and thanked the leadership and Board of CCCS for the support and flexibility that made participation in this program possible and stated “We are here to serve and educate the community and to assist more people in reaching for the dream."


Wells Fargo Foundation Gives $10,000 to Housing Education Program

In February 2005, the Housing Education Department was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation to provide education and credit report help to small businesses along San Francisco’s 3rd Street corridor. The money will be used to produce a series of workshops on how to grow small businesses with an emphasis on the FICO scoring model, predatory lending, and money management. Our partners include the BayView Business Resource Center, City College of San Francisco, Northeast Community Credit Union, and Bayview Hunter's Point Center for Arts and Technology.

Self Help attributes the program’s success to the immediate, comprehensive counseling given by CCCS-SF, and a variety of loan servicers who are willing to work with the counseled borrowers.

“We have been providing housing counseling to help families avoid foreclosure for many years and it strengthens our resolve to see solid, verifiable results of our counseling efforts,” said Rick Harper, Vice President of CCCS-SF, of the review’s statistics.

Since 1969, CCCS-SF has been helping Americans manage their money, repay debt, and achieve and maintain homeownership. Self-Help Credit Union reaches people who are underserved by conventional lenders.

Review Proves Long-Term Benefits of Professional Assistance

December 10, 2003 San Francisco, CA: Does financial counseling keep struggling Americans from losing their homes and declaring bankruptcy? According to Self-Help Credit Union, the answer is a resounding "yes."

The conclusion came from data collected from a collaboration between Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco (CCCS-SF), a non-profit credit counseling agency, and Self Help Credit Union, a North Carolina based community development lender. The partnership was created to help homeowners who are in financial crisis avoid foreclosure by providing them with emergency money management and housing counseling.

From August 2002 through September 2003, Self-Help referred 618 families whose mortgage payments were over forty-five days late to CCCS-SF. Those homeowners who participated in the program received immediate counseling sessions that focused on their goal of remaining in their home.

Self-Help conducted a loan performance review and the results were impressive: 90% of the borrowers who received counseling had retained their homes and only 10% had gone to foreclosure or filed bankruptcy.

Gaining empirical evidence of financial counseling's long-term benefits is "exciting," said Rick Harper, Vice President of CCCS-SF, after hearing the results of the review. "It is rewarding to be certain that our program assists homeowners - both those who already own and those who want to keep their homes out of foreclosure."

CCCS-SF has a thirty-four year history of helping Americans manage their money, repay debt, and achieve and maintain homeownership. Self-Help reaches people who are underserved by conventional lenders - particularly minorities, women, rural residents, and low-wealth families through the support of socially responsible citizens and institutions across the U.S.


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