Investing Close to Home

with the Homewise Community Investment Fund
Jan 16, 2018 9:45 AM ET

Invest Close to Home with the Homewise Community Investment Fund

By Laura Altomare, CFRM, Director of Communications and Development, Homewise

Since our founding in 1986, we’ve helped over 14,000 households become more financially educated, 3,600 become homeowners, 2,100 make energy-efficient home improvements and emergency repairs, 600 refinance to more affordable mortgages, and we have built over 600 high-quality affordable homes. These results are made possible through the support of our investors and donors, who serve as our partners in helping families build financial resilience and stability through successful homeownership.

Earn a financial return on your investment and contribute to the vitality of our communities

The Homewise Community Investment Fund offers a source of capital for Homewise. This Fund is for individual investors seeking to bridge the gap between social impact and their investment portfolios. Investments in the Fund are pooled and used to finance fixed-rate mortgages for families in our communities, energy and water conserving home improvement loans and the development of affordable energy conserving homes. Investments directly impact community vitality and the financial security of New Mexico families.

Shape your future by investing in underserved populations in New Mexico

Investors in the Homewise Community Investment Fund may elect for their investment to be used for Homewise’s general purposes in support of our mission to help create successful homeowners so that they improve their financial wellbeing and contribute to the vitality of our communities. Investors may also choose to target their investments toward one of the following programs aimed to serve specific underserved populations: 

• The New American Lending Program •

Homeownership is an important way that Americans create financial security and build wealth, which is critical to family financial well-being and quality of life. In fact, researchers at Brandeis University found it was the most important factor explaining the racial wealth gap. However, many families, especially those in the immigrant population, face obstacles that lock them out of the long-term economic benefits of homeownership.

Many of those in the immigrant population do not have a Social Security number and most have limited credit history, which often disqualifies them from obtaining an affordable mortgage loan. In many cases the only creditors who will lend to these borrowers are those with products offering high interest rates and unfavorable terms. Without access to affordable financing, homeownership remains an out-of-reach dream.

Homewise, in partnership with a mission-focused credit union, offers a special fixed-rate 30-year mortgage loan program for clients with an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) instead of a Social Security number, helping to break down barriers to homeownership for this underserved population.

There is also a need for high quality financial literacy education serving the immigrant population to enable individuals and families to achieve their financial and homeownership goals. Homewise offers free financial literacy education in English and Spanish to help underserved New Mexicans manage money, reduce debt, repair credit, and build savings in order to build long-term financial wellbeing through homeownership. Our curriculum is aligned with the Homewise homeownership process to support clients on an affordable and sustainable path to successful homeownership.

Since 2014, Homewise has made 185 loans totaling over $15,450,000 to new homeowners through the New American Lending program without a single defaulted loan, proving that offering affordable, responsible financing options coupled with focused, high quality financial literacy education can result in high quality loan portfolios.

Also learn about Homewise's Energy-Efficiency and Solar Lending Programs by reading Laura's full article here -