REALTORS® interested in helping low-income clients find affordable housing this summer were encouraged by guest speakers during the Illinois REALTORS® webinar Thursday afternoon.

During the first half of “Freddie Mac Staying Home – Housing Preservation and Homebuyer Resource Panel,” representatives from Freddie Mac and the Illinois Housing Development Authority (IHDA) Mortgage said they wanted to dispel myths about their programs during the COVID-19 pandemic and convince REALTORS® of their effectiveness. See the PowerPoint presentation.

Tara Pavlik

Tara Pavlik

“We’re not out of money, and we don’t hold up loans,” said IHDA Mortgage Managing Director Tara Pavlik about two myths heard by consumers. “We look at the loans after they close. Our rates are lower than market rates, too.”

The median income of U.S. homebuyers served by organizations like IHDA was $57,039 in 2018, according to data shared by Pavlik and Freddie Mac Affordable Lending Manager Sam Noel. By comparison, the median income of first-time homebuyers was $75,000, while the median income for all homebuyers was $91,600.

Agencies like IHDA often lead in the number of homebuyers of color, said Pavlik. In 2018, 30 percent of IHDA borrowers were minority borrowers.

When lenders tell REALTORS® that IHDA is out of money, Pavlik advised REALTORS® to contact IHDA directly or contact another lender to take advantage of IHDA program benefits.

The second half of Thursday’s webinar featured two Chicago-area individuals with decades of experience helping low-income homebuyers: Chicago Urban League Vice President of Housing and Financial Services Margaret Wooten and Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago Director of Neighborhood Strategy and Planning Deborah Moore. Freddie Mac Affordable Lending Manager Sandra Heidinger facilitated the discussion.

Moore and Wooten talked about educational programs that can help consumers budget their income, learn the importance of credit, create action plans and save money for down payments. Their organizations offer programs with down payment assistance.

“REALTORS® need to know we offer these programs,” said Moore.

See the resources offered through Freddie Mac.