In an effort to better represent underserved communities, as well as support ongoing diversity initiatives in the mortgage industry, Freddie Mac has announced the opening of a Borrower Help Center in McComb, Mississippi, according to a recent post by Dwight Robinson, SVP of Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion, and Chief Diversity Officer at Freddie Mac.
Robinson notes that this initiative isn’t new—it is the 14th center of its kind throughout the country; however, what makes this location unique is its locale.
First, it is the first located in the lower Mississippi delta, serving a rural community with a median household income of $29,720. African-Americans also makeup 66 percent of the total population, and have a homeownership rate much lower than that of the regional average—50.0 percent—compared to 70.9 percent.
Freddie Mac’s effort hasn’t gone unnoticed. According to Robinson, “staff at our borrower help centers primarily help consumers by phone or appointment, but McComb is different. Since February, the McComb site has seen a tremendous number of walk-ins per month, making it far and away the most popular of our 14 centers.”
Overall, 500-plus people have walked through the door to further their education on mortgage education and foreclosure assistance in the last three months. Demand for the location’s services were so great that Freddie Mac expanded its reach from three to 11 counties in the region.
Fulfilling the dream of homeownership for these underserved communities is one of Freddie Mac’s main goals, and it is initiatives such as this that are championed by organization such the Five Star Institute’s American Mortgage Diversity Council, which works to usher the industry into a new era of inclusion through a continued dialogue on ways to improve and evolve.
You can read Robinson’s full perspective on Freddie Mac’s website here.