Dianne Wasson


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Bring Workers Home Regional Forum on Workforce Housing--Honolulu, HI--October 12, 2010

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Dianne Wasson

  1. 1. Workforce Housing in Action: The Hometown Home Loan Program
  2. 2. Program History <ul><li>The Hometown Home Loan Program was created in 1994. </li></ul><ul><li>Began as a partnership with the City of Seattle for Police & Fire </li></ul><ul><li>Goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve emergency response </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce commute times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase homeownership opportunities in Seattle </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Addresses 3 main barriers to homeownership </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Confusion about the homebuying process and how to get started </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Money for a down payment and closing costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Affordability </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Program Benefits <ul><li>The Hometown Home Loan Program is a no-cost benefit that is </li></ul><ul><li>valuable to both the employer and the employee </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced loan fees & closing costs for purchases and refinances </li></ul><ul><li>Free, onsite homeownership education and homeownership counseling </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible loan programs and down payment assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Experienced and knowledgeable staff that is dedicated to supporting the program </li></ul><ul><li>Dedicated marketing and outreach coordinator minimizes administrative burden for the employer </li></ul>
  4. 4. Services to Participating Employers <ul><li>Comprehensive reports on program usage and demographics </li></ul><ul><li>Assistance in developing a customized EAH program </li></ul><ul><li>Specialized events and services </li></ul><ul><li>Individual web pages that detail housing benefits </li></ul><ul><li>No cost marketing materials </li></ul>
  5. 5. How does an EAH program benefit an employer? <ul><li>Enhances benefits packages </li></ul><ul><li>Assists with recruiting and retention efforts </li></ul><ul><li>Stabilizes the workforce </li></ul><ul><li>Increases community standing </li></ul>
  6. 6. EAH for Municipalities <ul><li>An Employer-Assisted Housing (EAH) program can work two ways for cities and counties. </li></ul><ul><li>An enhancement that makes their benefits package more competitive </li></ul><ul><li>A tool for accomplishing their housing goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased affordable housing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increase homeownership rates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce commute times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce emergency response times </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples: The Cities of Seattle, Bremerton, and Portland </li></ul>
  7. 7. Program Results <ul><li>The Hometown Home Loan Program is offered to over 45 employers & labor unions </li></ul><ul><li>Partnerships in Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii </li></ul><ul><li>8,622 Loans and over $10.9 million in closing cost savings </li></ul><ul><li>3,695 First-time buyers and $9.8 million in down payment assistance </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why does HomeStreet Bank offer an EAH program? <ul><li>We fill a need in our community </li></ul><ul><li>It supports our CRA Rating which has been “Outstanding” since 1989 </li></ul><ul><li>Since it’s inception, we have served over 8600 customers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>43% of them are first-time buyers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>44% of our customers are from low-to-moderate income households </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What are the main challenges as a lender to offering an EAH program? <ul><li>The length of time it takes before the program is profitable </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining visibility for our program with the workforce </li></ul><ul><li>Changing administrators, benefits staff, and communication policies </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting a workforce that is spread out over multiple locations or different shifts </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why is the Hometown Home Loan Program Successful? <ul><li>The Program is easy to understand and easy to adopt </li></ul><ul><li>There is no cost to implement the program </li></ul><ul><li>We are advocates for our customers </li></ul><ul><li>We have a dedicated team of noncommissioned loan officers whose only focus is the support of this program </li></ul><ul><li>We deliver unparalleled customer service </li></ul><ul><li>We employ a full-time marketing person to provide support to the participating employers to minimize their administrative burden </li></ul>
  11. 11. Summary <ul><li>An Employer-Assisted Housing (EAH) program can: </li></ul><ul><li>Enhance an employer’s benefit package </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a tool for recruitment and retention </li></ul><ul><li>Help to support local housing policies </li></ul><ul><li>Help low-income buyers to access down payment assistance </li></ul>