Jonathan Rothschild, mayor of Tucson, Ariz., and executives from Radian MI recently announced the launch of a new program to assist potential homeowners in the Tucson area by providing them with information and resources to get on the path toward sustainable and responsible homeownership.
The program, ‘Ready, Set, Own!‘ is designed to increase homeownership in the Tucson area, which was hard-hit by the housing crisis. According to Radian, the homeownership rate in the area fell to a recent historic low of under 50%.
The long-term goal of the program is to restore the local homeownership rate to 55%, which was its average level shortly before the recession. The national homeownership rate, by comparison, currently sits at 64.7%.
The program, which is sponsored by Radian, brings together local housing, lending and credit counseling resources to develop a personalized plan that results in successful homeownership for anyone wishing to buy a home.
Participants will be paired with local credit counselors and mortgage lenders to create a step-by-step plan toward homeownership. These co-mentors and strategic guides will provide assistance with the qualifications process, credit and debt issues, and establishing a down-payment savings plan.
‘Tucsonans considering buying a home need good information,’ Rothschild says in a release. ‘I'm very pleased that Tucson will be the first city to launch the 'Ready, Set, Own!' home buyer assistance program.’
‘The American Dream of owning a home is the cornerstone of vibrant, healthy and happy communities,’ adds S.A. Ibrahim, CEO of Radian. ‘At Radian, our goal is to help people from all walks of life and all financial backgrounds to responsibly achieve that dream, but we know it isn't always easy. Potential home buyers sometimes need resources and guidance to help them on their way, and the 'Ready, Set, Own!' campaign is designed to empower them with the knowledge and preparation they need to turn homeownership into a reality.’
NOVA Home Loans is one of the area lenders participating in the program.
‘The decision to buy a home is one of the most important financial decisions a person can make,’ says Ray Desmond, president and founder of NOVA Home Loans. ‘We're proud to serve as mentors for the 'Ready, Set, Own!' program and believe this campaign will provide clarity and opportunity for anyone considering homeownership in Tucson. We know that by helping more people own their own homes, our entire community stands to gain, as homeownership has been tied to significant economic, social and civic benefits.’
Depending on how successful the program is in Tucson, it may be expanded to other cities, Radian says.