Southwest Solutions named Housing Education Program Agency of the Year

April 30th, 2015
(left to right) Hector Hernandez, Executive Director of Southwest Economics Solutions; Rebecca Fried, Housing Education Specialist at MSHDA; Southwest Solutions Homeownership Assistance Team of Libby Palackdharry, Olga Ortiz-Rodriguez, Lupe Zarate Teresa Torres, and Grace Meyer
Our Homeownership Assistance Team (HAT) was honored as the “Housing Education Program Agency of the Year” at the 2015 Building Communities Conference held this week in Lansing. The award was presented to our team by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

“The HAT team at Southwest Solutions exemplifies what it means to be a comprehensive, grass-roots service provider that truly makes a positive impact on the community,” stated MSHDA, represented at the ceremony by Rebecca Fried, Housing Education Specialist at the agency.

The team provides foreclosure prevention, homebuyer counseling and financial coaching, and also refers clients to other services and resources to improve their economic wellbeing. Last year, the team provided foreclosure prevention to 274 families and helped more than a third of those families stay in their homes – a success rate that far exceeds the national average. Also last year, the team provided first-time homebuyer counseling to 118 families, of which 51 bought homes.

Our HAT team is lead by Libby Palackdharry and staffed by Brandy Bankhead, Lina Grant, Grace Meyer, Olga Ortiz-Rodriguez, Teresa Torres and Lupe Zarate.

“This very talented team is deeply committed to helping our clients achieve their goals, regardless of the many challenges our clients face, and regardless of the time it takes in both English and Spanish,” said Hector Hernandez, executive director of Southwest Economic Solutions, who accepted the award on behalf of the agency. Hector thanked MSHDA and NeighborWorks for their partnership, support and guidance.

“It is a pivotal time to be working in Detroit — never has there been more need, challenges and opportunities,” Hector added.

As part of the award presentation, MSHDA produced a short video about our Homeownership Assistance Team and its accomplishments.

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