Organized by: Lucienne Canet
Berniehouse.com is a pilot program dedicated to creating mortgage loan access for low and middle income individuals and families. We are currently raising funds to help ten (10) working families buy homes in New Jersey under a development model we call the "New New Deal". This involves using crowdfunded donations to back low interest loans for working families and creating networks for shared ownership. Our belief is that we can combine old and new financing solutions to provide affordable ownership for a new generation of buyers.
Why homeownership? Because affordable home ownership has shown to be a more efficient economic development tool for both low and middle-income individuals than affordable rental arrangements. Homeowners are shown to be more active in their communities, are more likely to start a business, and are more likely to be able to use their home equity as capital for a business loan. Outright homeowners are also somewhat shielded by some of the negative effects of gentrification.
We help people access home ownership in the following ways:
1) Promoting Shared ownership: our organization helps people with moderate savings pool money for shared home ownership by finding and matching prospective home buyers to each other. Frequently this allows buyers to buy a home without a loan. It also gives individuals opportunities to form LLC Partnerships and become real estate entrepreneurs. Many of the individuals seeking to obtain shared ownership are construction industry specialists and small-scale investors, as well as immigrants that are unable to buy a property under an individual entity. Others are simply first-time investors that are not interested in performing home repairs and improvements - and want to be matched to contractors or individuals willing to put work into a home.
2) Cosigning Loans: Many individuals do not have the required income or required debt/income ratio to access low interest loans. We help these individuals plan for a pathway to home ownership by co-signing mortgage loans. If you have student or business debt, this program can help you access low interest loans so that your mortgage loan does not 'balloon' over time like your previous debts.
By using donations for backing loans, we are also able to collect interests that are then funneled into administrative costs, outreach, and help for homeowners. Unlike other non-profits, none of the donated funds will be used to pay salaries or fees: 100% of original donations will be used as collateral to back low-interest loans for affordable homes.
We operate according to NACA underwriting guidelines and require 12 months of good credit for participation in this program. We also get to know homebuyers individually to see how we can best help them.
3) Referrals: We are not able to help every prospective homebuyer, but we do our best to provide referrals to people interested in our products. Our referrals have led to individuals successfully joining co-ops, community land trust networks, investor networks, and other groups that promote home ownership.
Finally, if you do not want to donate to our program, please help us out instead by liking us on facebook or twitter. Any social media support is greatly appreciated and can be immensely helpful. If you have any questions or want to learn about how to get involved, in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your time!