HOUSING SERVICES CENTER
GENERATIONAL WEALTH BEGINS WITH HOMEOWNERSHIP
The GWUL Housing Center makes homeownership more attainable and the path smooth. Contact us for information and help on:
Mapping Your Homeownership Plan
Mastering the Home Buying Process
Finding and Applying for Closing Cost and Down Payment Assistance
Uplifting Your Credit Scores and Lowering Borrowing Costs
Designating Funds to Protect and Maintain Your Investment
Tackling Post-Purchase Issues
Combatting Threats of Foreclosure
Transferring Your Wealth
The Greater Washington Urban League’s Housing Center builds financial bridges to homeownership, creating stability and prosperity for families throughout the region. The GWUL Housing Center offers homeownership education workshops teaching participants how to apply for a loan, prepare a budget, resolve credit problems, as well as one-on-one counseling. These and other services are offered at the Greater Washington Urban League.
Homeownership is a vital aspect of accumulating generational wealth. However, Black homeownership rates have hit the lowest level since the 1960s. Recent studies revealed that black homeownership rates in the District are at 44 percent, while white homeownership rates are greater than 75 percent. Now take a moment to imagine a fully equitable region, in which 95,000 more Black residents owned their homes.
However, with home values increasing the dream of homeownership is becoming inaccessible for a growing number of black residents. Affordable rental property for lower to middle-income residents is now scarce. The median value of a home in the District of Columbia is $675,000. In Montgomery County, Maryland it’s $502,000 and in Prince George’s County, Maryland it’s $366,000 and continues to rise rapidly. Although the Greater Washington area is one of the fastest-growing and prosperous metropolitan regions in the nation, there are still too many endangered individuals who have been displaced and stripped of the prospect of generational wealth.
Greater Washington Urban League housing services present a multi-faceted, multi-program consortium in collaboration with private and public sector institutions. We aim to build financial bridges from rental housing to ownership - thus creating stability and prosperity for families throughout the region.
Homebuyer education workshops show community members how to apply for a loan, prepare a budget and resolve credit problems. Our Housing Purchase Assistance Program helped thousands of residents become homeowners. Financial education programs allow residents to better understand resource investment and wealth accumulation. We continue to save families from foreclosure as we help the community navigate a treacherous affordable housing crisis.
Over 250 applicants received down payment and closing cost assistance annually.
Nearly 1,400 people received inclusion zoning help, credit, and foreclosure counseling, and home rehabilitation assistance.
Nearly 1,100 residents participated in homeownership workshops and counseling and default prevention.
The Greater Washington Urban League is a lead administrator for the District's home ownership assistance programs including HPAP, EAHP and NEAHP which plays a pivotal role in bringing together those in search of a home and their new abodes. HPAP enables lower-and moderate-wealth individuals and families and District employees to purchase affordable housing in Washington, D.C. Qualified applicants can receive up to $104,000 in financial assistance to purchase single-family houses, condominiums, and cooperative apartments. Funds can be used for acquisition assistance and/or closing costs. This acquisition assistance is in the form of 0% interest deferred loan.
Loan amounts are determined by a combination of factors, including income, household size, and the number of assets that an applicant can commit toward the purchase price of a home. In fiscal year 2020, GWUL in partnership with the DC Department of Housing and Community Development assisted 209 families in creating wealth by purchasing their first homes through these programs. 80% of the families assisted were African-American and 60% of the purchasers were women. The League disbursed $11,213,154 in client down payment assistance for the HPAP program.
The Greater Washington Urban League is also an administrator for the District's Department of Energy & Environment's Weatherization program. This program decreases the housing cost burden on low-wealth families, increases home safety and improves upon their environmental footprint. The program offers weatherization services including such renovations as attic sealing and insulation, window and door replacements, appliance upgrades and HVAC systems repairs. Such services are offered at no cost for those who qualify. In fiscal year 2020 GWUL, in partnership with DOEE assisted 9 single family households and 5 apartment buildings & co-ops in decreasing housing costs and becoming energy efficient through the Weatherization program. The League disbursed $448,693 to weatherize homes through this program.
HOME PURCHASE ASSISTANCE
The Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP) enables lower-and moderate-income individuals and families to purchase affordable housing in Washington, D.C. Qualified HPAP applicants can receive up to $84,000 in financial assistance to purchase single-family houses, condominiums, and cooperative apartments. HPAP funds can be used for acquisition assistance and/or closing costs. The HPAP Acquisition Assistance is in the form of 0 interest 5-year deferred loan.
Loan amounts are determined by a combination of factors, including income, household size, and the number of assets that an applicant can commit toward the purchase price of a home. In addition, all loan recipients are required to maintain their properties in compliance with D.C. Housing Codes
To be eligible for HPAP assistance, you must meet the following criteria:
Be the head of the household and a first-time homebuyer.
Be a very low-to-moderate income resident, based on DHCD standards. (See the separate HPAP Homebuyer Assistance Table.)
Have a good credit rating.
Have no ownership interest in any residential real estate within three years before applying.
Purchase a home within the District.
Use that home as your primary residence.
7 Easy Steps to Home Ownership
Step 1 Contact the Community-Based Organization (CBO) convenient to you for a pre-application housing counseling session.
Step 2 Gather the HPAP Required Documentation requested by your housing counselor and complete your HPAP application. (Click here for a list of required documentation)
Step 3 When your application is approved by the Greater Washington Urban League (GWUL), you will receive a Notice of Eligibility, which will indicate your financial assistance amount and the qualifying price range for your new house.
Step 4 Find a house, condominium, or cooperative apartment and enter into a sales agreement to purchase it. Forward a copy of the sales agreement to GWUL.
Step 5 Complete your mortgage application from your carefully selected financial institution. Be sure to include a copy of your Notice of Eligibility and sales agreement.
Step 6 Complete the transfer of ownership from the current homeowner to you, which is known as settlement.
Step 7 Move into your new home!
*If your HPAP application is denied by GWUL, you should consider asking your housing counselor the following two (2) questions:
Can I do anything to correct the factor(s) responsible for my denial?
Can you recommend a strategy to help strengthen my application?
Visit the link below to find out How to Apply, view the Income Guidelines, and the Homebuyer Fact Sheet
HOUSING & HOME BUYER EDUCATION
The Inclusionary Zoning program allows residents of the District of Columbia who are income eligible to purchase or rent housing below market prices. Income eligible households must attend an Inclusionary Zoning Orientation at GWUL and register for the Inclusionary Zoning lottery on the DC DHCD website.
Inclusionary Zoning Orientation Registration
Check the Webinars for upcoming orientation dates and registration information.
For more information on Inclusionary Zoning
The Greater Washington Urban League’s Home Buyers Club is an 18-month program designed to assist first time home buyers through the home buying process. The club provides individuals with education through monthly seminars that are held one Saturday a month from 10 am to 12 pm. The Home Buyers Club will provide individuals with clear and consistent information along with trusted guidance from Certified Housing Counselors. The club will include a group of dedicated individuals whose primary goal is to purchase a home at the completion of this 18-month program.
If you are interested in being a part of the Home Buyers Club; the qualifications are:
All participants must be 18 years or older to participate and have adequate income to afford a mortgage payment.
You must participate in the Home Buyers Club for a minimum of 6 months.
You must contribute $50 a month to a Capital One Savings account that you will open at the 1st session.
If you meet and agree to the above qualifications; you should complete the Home Buyers Club Intake Application that includes a Credit Report Authorization to be enrolled in the program and deemed eligible to participate. The Intake application will be available on the day of the orientation. The purpose of the Credit Report Authorization is to be able to pull the credit of all participants to gauge if the participant is credit ready or close to being credit ready to purchase a home.
Once we have received your intake form and pulled your credit report, GWUL will send you a letter confirming your participation in the Home Buyers Club. Please send your completed form to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
HOUSING COUNSELING SERVICES
Foreclosure Counseling Assistance
Greater Washington Urban League provides FREE assistance to homeowners in Washington, DC, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County who need help navigating the foreclosure process. Our staff will meet with you and call your loan servicer to find out exactly where you stand with your mortgage delinquency. Then we will put together a plan to help you to resolve it. We will also provide referrals to other resources that are available to you.
1st Time Homebuyers Workshop
This program is an 8-hour workshop for 1st-time homebuyers. Check the GWUL Events Calendar for upcoming workshop dates.