Housing Expo 2017: Helping navigate the challenges of home ownership

single-meta-cal November 1, 2017

Having the means to purchase a house can be challenging enough. To add the complexities of financing and furnishing, upkeep and utilities only adds to the challenge.

The City of Huntsville’s Community Development is helping make the process easier.

The 2017 Housing Expo, conducted by the Community Development Department, will be at the Stone Event Center at Campus No. 805 this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More than 50 exhibitors will be on hand and a variety of workshops and seminars will be held to advise first-time homeowners, low- to moderate-income families and elderly residents.

We’ve all been united in our desire to reach the American dream, and part of that is home ownership.”

Admission is free.

“The purpose of the Housing Expo is to showcase our partners and our programs,” said Turkessa Coleman, a planner for the City of Huntsville’s Community Development department.

The timing is also important: Scheduling the event for November coincides with the anniversary of President Kennedy’s landmark 1962 executive order to end discrimination in housing.

A part of the Housing Expo will include a seminar to brief home buyers, renters, sellers and landlords on fair housing laws.

“Housing doesn’t stand alone,” Coleman said. “We must have resources to go with our housing product.”

A variety of resources

Thus the array of support in various categories:

  • Financial. Lending agencies will be represented, with emphasis on financial literacy and credit counseling. Said Coleman, “We find that many folks who are interested in purchasing don’t know where to start and how to start.”
  • Home improvement. A number of companies who specialize in home repair and materials will have a presence.
  • For the elderly. There is a challenge of “aging in place,” and how the elderly may deal with that, or with other options. There is also legal counseling available; according to Coleman, many families are living in homes whose deeds have not been officially transferred from previous generations, and the process to handle that will be discussed.
  • Government assistance. A number of federally and state-funded programs are available through the City of Huntsville to assist buyers and homeowners, including access to renovation loans. Other counselors will be available about job resources, social issues, transportation and health.

Coleman stressed that the various seminars and panel discussions are participant-friendly and a generous amount of literature will be provided to Expo-goers for their specific needs.  People who have benefited from the various programs will be on-hand to describe their journeys.

A comfortable experience

“In all ways, we want to make it comfortable from a counseling standpoint,” Coleman said. “There is a lot of Q&A. This is their time to ask questions.”

If attendees are hesitant to ask questions in a public forum, Community Development staff is available for consultation on a one-to-one basis.

“We’ve all been united in our desire to reach the American dream, and part of that is home ownership,” Coleman said. “It increases the tax base in our city. Home-ownership means you’re more apt to take care of your property and that improves the neighborhood. The Housing Expo is a helpful first step toward that American dream.”

Participating exhibitors (subject to change)

·        1.        AARP
·        2.       AARP Chapter 1023
·        3.       Adams Homes
·        4.       Alabama A&M University Community & Regional Planning
·        5.       Alabama Non-Violent Offenders Organization (ANVOO)
·        6.       Alex Adams Agency-Allstate Insurance
·        7.       AshaKiran, Inc.
·        8.       Bancorp South
·        9.       Bo Cochran Agency-Allstate Insurance
·        10.    Boutique Station
·        11.    CB&S Bank
·        12.    Champion Windows & Sunrooms
·        13.    City of Huntsville Community Development
·        14.    City of Huntsville Parks & Recreation
·        15.    City of Huntsville Transportation
·        16.    City of Huntsville Planning-Big Picture
·        17.    Community Action Partnership Huntsville/Madison and Limestone Counties, Inc.
·        18.    Computer Train Me
·        19.    Credit 1 USA
·        20.    Crisis Services of North Alabama, Inc.
·        21.    Family Services Center, Inc.
·        22.    First Bank Mortgage
·        23.    First Federal Mortgage
·        24.    Habitat for Humanity of Madison County, Inc.
·        25.    Harris Home for Children, Inc.
·        26.    Helen Stampley Reality
·        27.    Home Depot
·        28.    Huntsville Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc.
·        29.    Huntsville Area Association of REALTORS
·        30.    Huntsville Housing Authority
·        31.    Huntsville Madison County Public Library
·        32.    Huntsville International Help Center Inc. (Centro de Ayuda)
·        33.    Huntsville Utilities
·        34.    InterLinc Mortgage Services
·        35.    Kier Reality
·        36.    Legal Shield/Benefits 4 Success
·        37.    Legend Realty
·        38.    Loan Depot
·        39.    Madison County Volunteer Lawyers Program
·        40.    Mary Kay Cosmetics-Diane Bhones
·        41.    Mary Kay Cosmetics-Shirley Talley
·        42.    Naumcheff Construction
·        43.    Neighborhood Concepts, Inc.
·        44.    New Futures Inc.
·        45.    New York Life
·        46.    No More Dirty Radio
·        47.    North Alabama Coalition for the Homeless Inc.
·        48.    PAK Legacy CDC
·        49.    Progress Bank & Trust
·        50.    Regions Mortgage
·        51.    TARGOG Area Agency on Aging
·        52.    The Paige Brown Team, Keller Williams Realty
·        53.    Ultimate Gutter Guard
·        54.    United Way of Central Alabama-Priority Veteran Huntsville
·        55.    Village of Promise Inc.