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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Press Room


October 20, 2000

Press Contacts: Carol Abrams (212) 863-5176
Kim Brown (212) 863-8076

HPD Presents FHA Homebuyers Education Learning Program to Encourage Homeownership

Initiative Teaches First-Time Homebuyers How to Negotiate the Homebuying Process

New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Jerilyn Perine announces the FHA Homebuyers Education Learning Program (HELP), a free, two-session course offered in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program is intended to give first-time homebuyers the tools to purchase their own home. Participants who complete the program also will receive a certificate for a $1,000 deduction from the cost of private mortgage insurance.

The first HELP session is on Saturday, October 28, and the second session is on Saturday, November 4. Participants must attend both sessions, which are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Community Center at St. Philips Episcopal Church, 204 W 134th Street, Manhattan. Other HELP courses are currently being planned for the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. People interested in attending should call Reginald Evans in HPD's Office of Community Partnerships (OCP) at (212) 863-7928.

The eight-hour classroom program covers the importance of budgeting before and after purchasing a home, working with real estate agents, negotiating prices; selecting the right lender, selecting the right loan, closing the deal, and the responsibilities of homeownership.

"Buying a home can be a complex and stressful process, and it intimidates many would-be homebuyers," said Commissioner Perine. "HELP will make prospective homebuyers more comfortable by giving them the information they need to navigate the homebuying process."

HELP compliments other initiatives at HPD designed to encourage homeownership, such as the Housing Education Program and the web site Studies show that the benefits of owning a home in New York City is a good way to build equity and long-term savings, save money on rent, and reap tax advantages. However, only 3 in 10 City residents are homeowners. HPD's programs teach New Yorkers about the advantages of homeownership and the steps they need to take to buy a home.

New York City Habitat for Humanity and St. Philips Episcopal Church are also partners in the program.

Prospective homebuyers can also request an HPD Homeownership Kit by calling (212) 863-8000.

HPD's mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation's largest municipal housing development agency. Since Fiscal Year 1994, the agency has completed the construction or rehabilitation of nearly 65,000 units of affordable housing.

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