On Saturday, August 26, 2023, the Jacksonville Field Office hosted a “House Party” to promote homeownership and generational wealth. Held at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) the Field Policy and Management team organized an energetic event filled with informational sessions and fun activities. The House Party highlighted the resources available to aspiring homebuyers, addressed common myths and assumptions, and depict real-life success stories.
With an emphasis on black and brown communities, the House Party attracted nearly 580 individuals who visited over the course of the day. The energy was felt in the room as hundreds of individuals filled the hallways of FSJU to take advantage of the various resources offered. Over 30 partners participated in the House Party, including housing counseling agencies (HCA), mortgage lenders, realtors, fair housing advocates, and legal aid. Also in attendance were HUD colleagues from the Atlanta Homeownership Center, Office of Housing Counseling, Office of Fair Housing, and a representative from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). All partners provided positive reviews and requested the event be held annually.
Attendees expressed their excitement to learn about Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and USDA loans, the homebuying process, helpful tools and resources such as down-payment assistance, and housing counseling services. To add to the excitement, the HUD team secured a DJ and local line dancers to engage the audience. The crowed especially enjoyed seeing Jacksonville Mayor Donna Deegan join in on the fun with a dance step or two. Ensuring to support small businesses at this event, attendees also had access to local food trucks and were able to engage with tiny home builders—an affordable, innovative new housing approach.
Due to FPM’s efforts, several goals were accomplished: 522 individuals attended on-site training sessions; 73 participated in one-on-one housing counseling; 163 signed-up for follow-up housing counseling and lender assistance; 102 signed up for follow-up with realtors; and 20 individuals received pre-approvals with 80 in the pipeline for mortgage approval! Further, not only did HUD promote homeownership, we also promoted the importance of education and economic development by hosting the event at Florida State College Jacksonville. FSCJ staff assisted nearly 100 participants in applying to college programs that will prepare them for better employment opportunities with competitive salaries.
Overall, the House Party was a success! HUD is doing its part to right the wrongs of the past and ensure that everyone has a fair opportunity to achieve homeownership and build generational wealth.
HUD Participants: Tiffany Cobb, Southeast Deputy Regional Administrator; Cindy Nava, Senior Policy Advisor; Dr. Alesia Scott-Ford, Jacksonville Field Office Director; Joel Ibañez, Housing Program Specialist, Office of Housing Counseling; Linn Lawrence, Director Processing and Underwriting, Atlanta Homeownership Center; Dedra Carey, Sr. Management and Program Analyst; Shantrel Brown, Management Analyst; Jennae Shinsky, Program Analyst
Local Officials: Donna Deegan, Mayor, City of Jacksonville; Joyce Morgan, Duval County Property Appraiser; Kimberly Daniels, Florida House of Representatives (Dist. 14); Reggie Gaffney, Jr., Jacksonville City Council (Dist. 8); Ju'Coby Pittman, Jacksonville City Council (Dist. 10); Rahman Johnson, Jacksonville City Council (Dist. 14).