The mission of Washington Homeownership Resource Center (WHRC) is to increase and preserve homeownership in Washington State by educating and empowering current and future homeowners. We provide information about and referral to homebuyer assistance programs and pre-purchase education, foreclosure intervention counseling and mediation, legal aid, and credit counseling.
The Washington Homeownership Resource Center (WHRC) was founded as the Community Home Ownership Center (CHOC) in 1996 by members of the Seattle Mortgage Bankers Association, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission (WSHFC), and non-profit housing agencies. It was formed to serve as a Puget Sound area clearinghouse for resources available to first-time homebuyers and homeowners, particularly those with low-to-moderate income. The overarching goal was to connect the community to resources necessary to break down the barriers to successful homeownership.
In 1999, CHOC expanded its service area to the entire state of Washington and launched a website and a statewide toll-free hotline. . CHOC changed its name to WHRC in 2008. With the 2008 onset of the mortgage crisis, WHRC saw a drastic shift from consumers seeking information on home buying to those seeking information on preventing foreclosure. In 2011, WHRC was selected by WSHFC to operate the foreclosure prevention hotline stipulated in the Foreclosure Fairness Act, solidifying the role of foreclosure prevention in our service portfolio.
WHRC connects clients to homeownership resources within three main programs: our pre-purchase information program, our post-purchase information program, and our foreclosure prevention program. Our referral specialists help prospective and current homeowners find the programs most likely to be match their needs. Homeowners can also access information and referral through WHRC to reverse mortgage counseling, finance options, and owner-occupied repair programs. Most of our clients, however, are homeowners experiencing mortgage default. After assessing the client's status, resources, and needs, our staff explain the foreclosure process and the client's rights and responsibilities, answer questions, and provide referrals to HUD-approved housing counseling agencies or legal aid.
WHRC is also both a partner and leader in the Washington homeownership community and is the primary point-of-entry for foreclosure prevention services and homeownership information for Washington state. WHRC maintains formal and informal partnerships with pre-and post-purchase housing counseling agencies; foreclosure prevention civil legal aid services; municipal and non-profit rescue loan programs; owner-occupied repair programs; down payment assistance programs; and consumer protection agencies such as the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions and the Washington State Attorney General's Office. Additionally, WHRC convenes a monthly statewide call for housing counselors, a stateside homeownership stakeholder group twice a year, and a day-long homeownership forum focusing on topics that impact affordable homeownership agencies and clients.
The mission of Washington Homeownership Resource Center (WHRC) is to increase and preserve homeownership in Washington State by educating and empowering current and future homeowners. We provide information about and referral to…