On Friday, August 27, CHN Housing Partners Executive Director, Kevin J. Nowak, joined Huntington National Bank Vice President, State CRA Mortgage Sales Manager, D.J. Valentine in the City Club of Cleveland’s Believing in Home forum. The purpose of the forum was to discuss the importance of affordable housing and the ways it can be used to achieve equity within communities. The forum was moderated by Michelle Jarboe, Enterprise Reporter at Crain’s Cleveland Business
During the sold-out forum, Nowak and Valentine discussed how homeownership builds equity by anchoring families and neighborhoods, building generational wealth and increasing home values benefiting the homeowner and the neighborhood as a whole. The importance of accessible homeownership preparation, such as homebuyer education classes and down payment assistance programs, was also stressed.
Kevin Nowak and Valentine also shared the work their respective organizations are doing to make homeownership more accessible. Nowak provided information on CHN’s flagship Lease Purchase Program which allows renters to purchase their home after a set number of years and uses the equivalency principle, rather than traditional underwriting criteria like a credit score, to determine interest rates. CHN’s lending arm, CHN Housing Capital, offers a home mortgage for those who may not qualify for a standard bank mortgage in partnership with Huntington National Bank. This mortgage uses more flexible underwriting criteria and provides small-dollar mortgages, filling a gap in Cleveland neighborhoods amplified by the Great Recession.
Valentine described Huntington’s CRA lending program, through which lending officers receive the same commission per closing (regardless of the sale price), ensuring small-dollar loans in low-income neighborhoods are not overlooked.
CHN would like to thank Huntington National Bank for its participation in this forum and for its industry-leading commitment to homeownership and affordable housing. Thank you to The City Club for hosting this crucial conversation, to Michelle Jarboe for moderating, and to the sponsors who made the forum possible, including the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, and Burten, Bell, Carr Development, Inc.
If you missed the forum, you can watch the recording here.