Financial Inclusion and Housing Access and Sustainability

YWCA Metropolitan Chicago works with our financial services partners and other local experts to bring the highest quality financial education and housing services to our members, regardless of race, income, gender identity, or family situation. Our financially inclusive suite of programs offer one-on-one coaching and training on the following: credit repair, budgeting, home-buying, foreclosure prevention, rental counseling, and homelessness prevention. Services can be accessed at our Bronzeville Center or scheduled on demand.

If you are ready to own your own home or are considering buying a home someday, attend one of our monthly homebuyer education workshops or schedule a meeting with a HUD Certified Housing Counselor.

If you are in a situation where you are looking for trustworthy financial advice, experiencing hardship, homelessness, on the verge of eviction, or feel you are struggling to make your rent or mortgage payments, please reach out to us. Call to schedule an appointment with an experienced HUD Certified Housing Counselor free of charge at 312-328-0873.

Financial Management

Our Financial Management program helps our clients achieve long-term financial success, no matter what life stage they are in and regardless of income. Our financial coaches use a proven approach to take our clients from financially surviving to thriving. As a result of our program, individuals and families experience the following positive results:

  • Learn practical budgeting tools and techniques for better money management
  • Improve credit rating and decrease debts
  • Begin a realistic savings plan for future goals
  • Increase awareness to avoid identity theft, predatory loans, and scams
  • Understand financial options for home ownership, refinancing, or renting
  • Increase financial knowledge and skills
  • Apply skills to personal financial lives and share with the community
Homebuyer Education

Once upon a time, buying a home was simple. Today, the game has changed. Whether you’re buying for the first time or the fifth, you need to be savvy and proactive.

With YWCA Metropolitan Chicago’s Homebuyer Education, you can be. It’s not just about buying a home—it’s about staying in it. Research shows that informed homebuyers are successful homeowners. Join us on the path to becoming mortgage ready.

Homebuyer Group Education and Certificate

We offer homebuyer education workshops twice per month. Choose from a full-day Saturday session from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm or a two-part evening session that occurs on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Register HERE to attend a monthly session. Either six hour session (Saturday or Wednesday/Thursday) must be followed with 2 hours of one-on-one counseling to receive your Homebuyer Education Certificate. The certificate, provided to you or your lender, is required to qualify for various down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

If you would like to take a course on your own terms, try the self-paced course online with Framework. Framework is the only online homebuyer course designed by experts in online learning. It’s comprehensive, so you’ll have all the facts you need to navigate every step of the buying process. And you can learn when, where, and how you like. Please contact us to learn more about Framework.

Home Ownership Counseling

Attending our workshop is just a start! You’ll need one-on-one coaching in order to receive an Action Plan that will map out how to achieve this very important goal. One-on-one coaching assists with preparing a monthly spending plan, improving credit scores, building savings, determining readiness and purchase affordability.

One-on-one coaching may be scheduled before or after attending the Homebuyer Education Workshop. Coaching may take place in person or over the phone. All services are free of charge. Required documents are: Government issued ID, bank statements, budget worksheet, and paystubs.

Post-Purchase Counseling

Now that you’ve achieved the dream of purchasing your own home, let’s make sure you are able to prepare for, prevent, and rebound from any financial challenges that might arise. Post purchase counseling guides clients through homeownership by providing them with information and resources on property taxes, insurance, refinancing, equity loans, property rehabilitation, upkeep and maintenance.

Clients understand the following: how to protect and maintain your home, budgeting tools to create a post-purchase spending plan, preventative maintenance procedures, resources for home improvements and repairs, and property taxes and insurance.

Predatory Lending Counseling/Mortgage Modification and Mortgage Scam Assistance

The number of foreclosures resulting from inappropriate or predatory loans are reduced by understanding the types of home loans available and what’s the most affordable loan for your specific financial situation. Clients are educated about deceptive mortgage relief and foreclosure rescue companies and taught how to report such activities to appropriate authorities for investigation.

Foreclosure Prevention Counseling

Foreclosures and serious delinquencies cause high levels of economic stress for mortgage servicers, investors, and borrowers, and threaten the stability of our neighborhoods. The YWCA’s foreclosure prevention program assists clients who are in imminent default, facing foreclosure or in post-foreclosure through various programs offered by the federal government as well as bank and investor programs. The Housing Counselor works with you and the lender to address the mortgage arrearage and can assist homeowners with preparing and submitting a loan modification package to their lender.

For senior citizens, we offer reverse mortgage counseling. A reverse mortgage allows homeowners aged 62+ to convert a portion of their home equity into cash while they continue to live at home — provided certain loan obligations are met. If you or an older adult you know is considering a reverse mortgage, you must receive counseling from a government-approved agency. Contact our office to learn more about this service at 312-328-0873.

Reverse mortgage counseling can be completed over the phone or in person. Reverse mortgage counselors will explain how reverse mortgages work, including payment options, costs, tax implications, benefits, and drawbacks.

You should consider mortgage delinquency, reverse mortgage, and/or default resolution counseling if you are in any of the following situations:

· Have not missed a mortgage payment but are concerned that you may miss future payments

· Behind on mortgage payments

· Received a notice of foreclosure

· Having trouble communicating with your mortgage lender

Rental Counseling (Rental Assistance)

Families struggling to keep up with rent and utility costs are often living one emergency or misstep away from losing their housing. In some instances, some families wait until they are already obligated to a lease to seek rental counseling, however rental counseling should occur prior to signing a lease.

Housing counseling agencies play an essential role in reducing evictions by:

· Helping clients identify an affordable unit

· Providing information to renters on tenant rights and fair housing issues

· Counseling on household budgeting and good rental practices

· Connecting clients with community resources

If you are seeking support for listing of affordable housing properties, interested to learn budgeting tools and techniques to help with managing credit and knowing your Fair Housing Rights, need assistance to resolve landlord and tenant disputes, how to report unsafe building conditions and costs associated with rental housing, rental counseling is offered on demand. Please contact our office at 312-328-0873. Proof of income and state-issued ID is required for rental counseling.

 

This program is made possible through the following strategic partners: