CONVERGENCE Columbus Launches Bloom614 Homebuyer Readiness Program
October 26, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 26, 2023) — The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) announced today that CONVERGENCE Columbus launched the Bloom614 Homebuyer Readiness Program. The pilot program provides an innovative, digital coaching experience for aspiring homebuyers through a partnership with CredEvolv, a credit and debt management technology tool.
“For every potential homebuyer that has ever been turned down from getting a mortgage, the Bloom614 Homebuyer Readiness Program aims to take them from ‘no’, to ‘not yet’, to ‘yes.’ By working with lenders and housing coaches that equip borrowers with credit counseling, debt-repair, and personalized homebuying resources, this program empowers them with exactly what they need to successfully embark on their homebuying journey,” said Anna Teye-Kasongo, Director of Community Partnerships at the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio (AHACO).
Central Ohio residents can sign up for the program on Bloom614.org or they may be referred to the program by one of the inaugural lending partners, The Huntington National Bank and Fifth Third Bank, both of whom are MBA members.
After enrollment, homebuyers are linked to nonprofit, HUD-certified housing counselors from the Columbus Urban League, Homeport, and Homes on the Hill, who will provide free, individualized homebuying coaching in a streamlined virtual environment. With support from the CredEvolv tool, counselors and consumers gain access to traditional underwriting tools and data for greater certainty in the mortgage application process.
The Bloom614 Homebuyer Readiness Program was made possible through grants provided by Experian and FICO.
“We are committed to providing people with the education, tools and resources necessary to create a more equitable path to homeownership and bring financial power to all,” said Michele Bodda, President of Experian Housing, Employer Services and Verification Solutions. “We’re honored to support the MBA and AHACO in their efforts and believe the Bloom614 Homebuyer Readiness Program will be a powerful tool in helping people on their homebuying journey.”
“The Bloom614 Homebuyer Readiness Program’s goal to prepare consumers on their path to homeownership closely aligns with FICO’s longstanding commitment to financial inclusion and education to help consumers reach their financial dreams. We’re pleased to support such an important initiative to equip future homebuyers with the valuable education and tools to drive financial success in their homebuying process,” said Joanne Gaskin, Vice President of Scores at FICO.
CONVERGENCE Columbus was launched by MBA, the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, and The John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University in July 2021. It is a cross-sector partnership and multi-year initiative focused on increasing minority homeownership in Columbus, Ohio. In 2022, AHACO was named as the local host organization for CONVERGENCE Columbus.
Bloom614 is developed by CONVERGENCE Columbus members to celebrate, support, and bring transparency to every step of the homeownership journey for Columbus’ Black and minority communities.
For more information on CONVERGENCE, please click here.