In 2009, the Foreclosure Response Coalition of Kent County launched an aggressive campaign to increase the number of at-risk homeowners taking advantage of free HUD and MSHDA-certified foreclosure counselors and free Legal Aid. Within a year, the coalition, comprised of over 40 stakeholders including nonprofit housing and social service agencies, neighborhood organizations, foundations, city and county governments, legal resources, banks and real estate professionals, tripled the number of intake calls from residents seeking the assistance of certified housing counselors. Kent County focused its efforts on connecting with homeowners early in the foreclosure process to put them in touch with foreclosure prevention related resources using the following strategies/tactics:
- Door-to-Door Campaigning
- contacting homeowners directly, providing them with Foreclosure Response educational materials (written in English and Spanish) and inviting them to participate in a community meeting with onsite housing counselors
- partnering with other door-to-door campaigns, requesting that they help spread the Foreclosure Response message, thereby, expanding visibility and outreach.
- Building Relationships with Neighborhood Associations
- attending neighborhood meetings to build the trust of residents and connect those in need of foreclosure counseling and legal aid to those resources.
- Marketing Services on Water Bills
- collaborating with the Department of Public Works to have certified foreclosure counselor contact information printed on the backs of all county water bills. Click here for sample materials (pdf).
- Crossing the Language Barrier
- broadcasting public service announcements on Spanish radio channels.
- Circulating Foreclosure Response Materials
- ensuring the availability of educational materials across the county in various public and private venues.
- Briefing the County and City Commission
- briefing the County and City Commission on their mission and partnering to host community meetings.
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