Freddie Mac announced a new partnership with NextJob, a job-hunting firm, as a way to provide employment search assistance to current and aspiring homeowners living in high-need or other poverty areas.
The employment rebound hasn’t happened in some areas of the country, and Freddie’s attempt to help homeowners find jobs may help keep the foreclosure rate down.
The program will assist homeowners who have Freddie Mac Home Possible mortgages increase their re-employment prospects following a job loss, reduced hours or other employment challenges that threaten their ability to make their mortgage payments.
The program will also provide assistance to aspiring homeowners in their job search. In this case, the goal is to increase their incomes so that they can qualify for Freddie Mac’s affordable loan offerings. Eligible borrowers will be partnered with NextJob to receive one-on-one coaching, access to “Job Talk” webinars, and NextJob’s proprietary online job search training program.
“While some parts of the country are benefiting from low unemployment rates, many rural areas continue to see limited opportunities and flattening or declining wage growth,” says Mike Dawson, vice president of single-family affordable lending strategies and initiatives at Freddie Mac. “Through our work with NextJob – and by partnering with leading local organizations on the front lines of this problem – we are capitalizing on the success of our past employment programs to help the next frontier of unmet workforce development needs. This partnership will provide a meaningful opportunity to create and sustain homeownership for families across rural America.”
In 2015, Freddie Mac launched a homeowner re-employment pilot program with NextJob. Homeowners who took part in the pilot program “increased their job search skills by 32 percent and acquired jobs at nearly triple the normal rate of re-employment,” according to Freddie Mac. Borrowers in the program were able to acquire new employment in about four months.
The program is under Freddie Mac’s Duty to Serve initiative, which is aimed at helping distressed homeowners in underserved markets.
“It can be difficult to have a direct plan of action to get you from where you are to where you want to be,” says James Hunter, senior vice president of mortgage lending at HOPE Enterprise Corporation. “This partnership will provide our members with that plan and get them to where they want to be faster. It’s not just about a job. It’s about building a career to sustain homeownership for the long run. This initiative is really groundbreaking in underserved markets and we expect it to be very successful.”
Source: Freddie Mac
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