On Friday, August 27th, we attended an in-person forum at the City Club titled “Believing in Home” wherein Ms. Michelle Jarboe of “Crain’s Cleveland” interviewed Mr. Kevin J. Nowak, Executive Director of CHN Housing Partners, and Mr. D.J. Valentine, Vice President, State CRA Mortgage Sales Manager, at Huntington National Bank, regarding the advantages of homeownership and the avenues to achieving it.
As the City Club notes read, in part, “having the opportunity to invest in a permanent address means improvement to children’s health, increased job opportunities, and the power to revitalize struggling neighborhoods.”
Certainly, the spike in housing prices has deterred many from seeking homeownership but Mr. Nowak and Mr. Valentine expressed optimism due to anticipated federal funding of housing programs and initiatives at the state and local levels along with revised lending practices that in the past proved prohibitive.
What attracted us at Margaret W. Wong & Associates LLC to this forum was concern over affordable housing for low-income people who have recently immigrated to the United States along with the expected influx of refugees from Afghanistan and it was said that these are legitimate concerns.
One thing that we really liked hearing was the Mr. Nowak and Mr. Valentine were both committed to homeowner education programs that instruct the public not only about pathways to purchasing a home but about how to maintain a home after the deal is closed.
On a personal level, we believe this is very important because, as conscientious homeowner we have recently had to deal with an assortment of repairs that were not only important to us as residents but also to our neighbors because, and we learned this the hard way, a decrepit property can be a blight on an entire street.
Along these lines, before lunch was served, we got to visit with Mr. John O. Anoliefo, Executive Director of the Famicos Foundation whose mission is “to improve the quality of life in greater Cleveland through neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, and integrated social services.”
During our visit, Mr. Anoliefo told us that he immigrated to the United States from Nigeria many years ago and Ms. Margaret W. Wong helped him to obtain his green card.