Despite a year full of unexpected change, the Minnesota Homeownership Center and its partners have successfully mobilized to lead the way in avoiding another foreclosure crisis.
Last January, as Center staff began planning our biennial Homeownership Advisors Network Conference and worked to wrap up our 2020-2024 strategic plan, we were blissfully unaware that everything, everywhere, was about to dramatically change. In March, as the threat of COVID-19 took full effect and the economy ground to a halt, we shifted our gears and threw everything we had into preparing the Center and the Network for the work we knew would be needed if we wanted to avoid another foreclosure crisis. Nine months later, we are proud to report we have made tremendous progress.
From March to June, we worked to secure emergency funding for the expansion of foreclosure prevention services and spread the word in the media and elsewhere that mortgage forbearance was available for those in need if they asked for it. From July to September, we embarked on the largest public outreach campaign in the history of the Center promoting mortgage forbearance and foreclosure prevention advising using paid social media video produced in multiple languages, audio stream advertising and other assets. Our videos alone were viewed in their entirety by more than ten percent of our state’s entire population. Finally, from October through December, we kept up our work and prepared for the eventual winding down of consumer mortgage relief efforts in 2021.
While the outlook for an end to COVID-19’s severe hold on our day-to-day lives is improving with the arrival of vaccines, we’re still a long ways from returning to normal, and we know that the most difficult days financially for many of our friends and neighbors are still ahead of us as housing relief programs expire. We remain determined to do all we can to avoid another foreclosure crisis, and we will continue our relentless public outreach around that fact that foreclosure can be prevented for as long as it takes.
Thank you all for everything you do to promote homeownership and its myriad benefits to everyone in Minnesota!