Rent Stress

One of the most frequently asked questions from people who are looking for a home is should they rent or buy? Buying a home is a huge decision and not one to be taken lightly. It is a commitment, which tends to scare some, but it could also mean the difference between being rent stressed and a little more stress free.

Nearly 45 percent of renters in Louisiana are paying more than 35 percent of their monthly income on rent. The formal name for this growing epidemic is called “rent stress.” This disturbing statistic comes from the Housing Needs Assessment of Louisiana and was released by the Louisiana State University Administration Institution. The number has gone up 15 percent since 2000.

Many have the idea in their head that renting is cheaper than buying a home but statistics show that more Louisiana homeowners who have mortgages are less cost-stressed than those who are renting. Only 22 percent of homeowners in the state with a mortgage are spending more than 35 percent of their monthly income on a house. The national number is 26 percent; both numbers being considerably lower than those who rent.

The average median household income for the state of Louisiana is $44,164. This means that the average gross monthly household income is $3,680, leaving a net of about $2,750 after taxes. To live within a 30% housing budget, $825 would be the recommended maximum amount that should be used for household expenses including rent and utilities. According to realtor.com, the average rent for a one-bedroom unit in Louisiana is $1,141 which is already $316 above the targeted housing budget without adding in the cost of utilities.

There are many people all over the country struggling to pay their monthly rent. It is a sad reality that simply keeping a roof over one’s head has become a fight; one many seem to be losing. Buying a home will not solve all problems but it could be a way to start for some. It might just take those extra hundred dollars to make a difference in your life.

Louisiana Housing Corporation is hoping to make people more aware of “rent stress” and all the options available. Our Single Family Homeownership Programs help low-to-moderate-income homebuyers achieve the American dream of owning a home. We offer housing counseling for anyone who would like to learn more about the process of buying a home, how to analyze your budget and credit ratings and how to shop for a mortgage. When it comes to buying a house you need to be aware of all possible aspects in order for you to get the best deal and we can help you with that.

To learn more about our homebuyer programs and how they can help you visit http://www.lhc.la.gov/page/buyers.

Top Lender of September

David Wimberly

1. What is your official title?

Loan Officer

2. How long have you worked as a Loan Officer?

I’ve been one for 1½ years.

3. What is your favorite thing about your job?

I like working with people to put them in homes.

4. Can you share an experience or event when you felt really good about your job?

Working with people that can handle the monthly note but don’t necessarily have enough funds saved for a down payment creates quite a few good memories.  Many of these people are first time home buyers, and seeing how happy they are at closing is pretty special.

5. How does participation in LHC’s programs help you to be a success in your profession?

It definitely helps market me and my company to realtors.  Being relatively new to the profession, I found this attracted realtors to Nola Lending for this product and several other programs we offer.  It has become a very useful marketing tool.

6. Would you recommend LHC to others?

Absolutely, down payment assistance works very well for qualified buyers that meet    LHC’s criteria.

 

 

Top Lender of the Year

Lisa Cooper pic

Lisa Cooper

1. What is your official title?

     My official title is Mortgage Loan Originator.

2. How long have you worked as a Mortgage Loan Originator?

I have been a Mortgage Loan Originator for over 22 years.

3. How long have you worked with your company?

I have been with Gulf Coast Bank and Trust for 10.

4. What is your favorite thing about your job?

My favorite thing about my job is helping first-time buyers realize their dream of homeownership!

5. Can you share an experience or event when you felt really good about your job?

It is very rewarding to me when I help someone who didn’t think that they could ever own a home.  I once helped a retired couple get financing for their very first home through one of LHC’s programs.

6. What do you like about the LHC program?

I love the programs that LHC offers because buyers who have not saved for a down payment can purchase now instead of waiting.  I also like the LHC programs because the LHC single-family staff is wonderful and the programs are so easy to use.

7. Would you recommend LHC to others?

I would definitely recommend the LHC programs!

What is LHC?

Act 408 (the Act) of the 2011 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature created the Louisiana Housing Corporation (LHC). The intent of the Act was to consolidate funding sources and programs for affordable housing throughout the State and provide for a coordinated approach to overall State housing policy to ensure an adequate supply of affordable and accessible housing for all Louisiana residents.

Prior to the establishment of LHC, billions in federal and State dollars flowed through many different agencies in Louisiana, including the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency (LHC’s predecessor agency), the Office of Community Development’s Disaster Recovery Unit, the Department of Health and Hospitals, the Department of Children and Family Services, and the Louisiana Housing Authority, along with many other State programs that planned, funded and monitored homeownership, homelessness prevention, rental assistance and housing- related childcare.

This consolidation of such a broad range of housing programs was unprecedented for a State housing finance agency, creating a national model for comprehensive affordable housing policy development and financing, as well as coordinating the response to statewide housing disaster recovery.

Throughout FY 2015, LHC’s staff and board focused on effectively integrating the agency’s disparate programs, organizing business units to create operational efficiencies, expanding programs to meet the agency’s mission, and assessing the current state of housing in Louisiana. This work will lay the foundation for the road ahead.

The road ahead leads to a more transparent, technologically advanced, engaged and informed statewide housing corporation with a firm commitment to become more relevant to citizens and leaders across Louisiana. The formation of LHC created a national model for statewide housing and by enhancing and expanding programs, and improving operations, the Louisiana Housing Corporation is poised to raise the national bar for comprehensive housing development and service delivery.

A day in the life of Jessica Guinn

Welcome to the first official #IamLHC employee spotlight. #IamLHC will introduce you to Louisiana Housing Corporation employees and give you a glimpse into the important work they do daily. Today we’re meeting Jessica Guinn, Attorney/Fair Housing Coordinator. What is a typical day at work like for you? A typical day at work for me is usually very untypical - other than starting it off with a strong cup of coffee! My tasks and to-do lists vary greatly from day-to-day, but each day usually involves a lot of reading and writing. For example, today I read pleadings and motions from a federal court case, an article on a blog concerning a fair housing case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this year, as well as several bills that were passed into laws in the 2014 legislative session to determine their impact on the Corporation. What is the overall goal of your program? Our goal is to ensure that housing opportunities throughout the state are made available to our citizens on an equal basis, without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability. Unfortunately, many residents of our state - as well as those responsible for providing housing opportunities for them - are unaware of fair housing laws. As such, the LHC’s fortified focus on fair housing seeks to educate the public about their fair housing rights, inform housing providers about how their actions are affected by the law, and to work cooperatively with the affordable housing community to ensure that our policies and practices best meet the needs of our citizens as it relates to the provision of housing opportunities on an equal basis. What is the most exciting part of your job? The most exciting part of my job is that I learn something new every day! It sounds so cliché, but I love to learn and enjoy being able to use the knowledge I’ve gained to implement and create things that will ultimately secure an opportunity for housing for someone in this state. I also work with a great group of people in the Legal Department who have a wealth of knowledge and experience, and enjoy being able to collaborate with them on solutions to issues that are presented to us. How long have you been with the Louisiana Housing Corporation? February 2, 2015 will make five years since I joined the LHC. Finally, what is something you’d like people to know about you? I have a slight obsession with nail polish and Bentley, my English Bulldog. Those are generally two things that people don’t pair together, but I couldn’t imagine my life without either one of them! I’m also a repository for useless information and trivia, and have an uncanny memory for music and lyrics that would make me an awesome contestant for both Name That Tune as well as Don’t Forget the Lyrics.

Welcome to the first official #IamLHC employee spotlight. #IamLHC will introduce you to Louisiana Housing Corporation employees and give you a glimpse into the important work they do daily. Today we’re meeting Jessica Guinn, Attorney/Fair Housing Coordinator.

What is a typical day at work like for you?

  • A typical day at work for me is usually very untypical – other than starting it off with a strong cup of coffee! My tasks and to-do lists vary greatly from day-to-day, but each day usually involves a lot of reading and writing. For example, today I read pleadings and motions from a federal court case, an article on a blog concerning a fair housing case that will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this year, as well as several bills that were passed into laws in the 2014 legislative session to determine their impact on the Corporation.

What is the overall goal of your program?

  • Our goal is to ensure that housing opportunities throughout the state are made available to our citizens on an equal basis, without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability. Unfortunately, many residents of our state – as well as those responsible for providing housing opportunities for them – are unaware of fair housing laws. As such, the LHC’s fortified focus on fair housing seeks to educate the public about their fair housing rights, inform housing providers about how their actions are affected by the law, and to work cooperatively with the affordable housing community to ensure that our policies and practices best meet the needs of our citizens as it relates to the provision of housing opportunities on an equal basis.

What is the most exciting part of your job?

  • The most exciting part of my job is that I learn something new every day! It sounds so cliché, but I love to learn and enjoy being able to use the knowledge I’ve gained to implement and create things that will ultimately secure an opportunity for housing for someone in this state. I also work with a great group of people in the Legal Department who have a wealth of knowledge and experience, and enjoy being able to collaborate with them on solutions to issues that are presented to us.

How long have you been with the Louisiana Housing Corporation?

  • February 2, 2015 will make five years since I joined the LHC.

Finally, what is something you’d like people to know about you?

  • I have a slight obsession with nail polish and Bentley, my English Bulldog. Those are generally two things that people don’t pair together, but I couldn’t imagine my life without either one of them! I’m also a repository for useless information and trivia, and have an uncanny memory for music and lyrics that would make me an awesome contestant for both Name That Tune as well as Don’t Forget the Lyrics.

A day in the life of Liza Bergeron

Welcome again to the #IamLHC employee spotlight. #IamLHC will introduce you to Louisiana Housing Corporation employees and give you a glimpse into the important work they do daily. Today we’re hearing from Liza Bergeron, Sustainable Housing Director.What is a typical work day like for you?Run, run, run and run some more.What is the overall goal of your program?My entire staff/department is committed to replenishing the supply of affordable housing for low to moderate income families whose homes were destroyed by the five hurricanes.What is the most fun or rewarding part of your job?I can be stressed out for months at a time, but when I go to one ribbon cutting for a housing development it all becomes worth all the worry and stress I’ve endured to get to the finished product. Seeing kids play on a playground or elderly tenants secure in their safe environment, that’s what it is all about - them. How long have you been with the Louisiana Housing Corporation?I’ve been with the LHC since March 2012.What is something fun you’d like everyone to know about you?Working in my garden is probably the most fun I have right now. When most people will use a beautiful day to go to the lake, fish or go out to eat, I would much rather be in my yard. Planting, weeding, fertilizing, you name it. Gardening is the best therapy I can do.

Welcome again to the #IamLHC employee spotlight. #IamLHC will introduce you to Louisiana Housing Corporation employees and give you a glimpse into the important work they do daily. Today we’re hearing from Liza Bergeron, Sustainable Housing Director.

What is a typical work day like for you?

  • Run, run, run and run some more.

What is the overall goal of your program?

  • My entire staff/department is committed to replenishing the supply of affordable housing for low to moderate income families whose homes were destroyed by the five hurricanes.

What is the most fun or rewarding part of your job?

  • I can be stressed out for months at a time, but when I go to one ribbon cutting for a housing development it all becomes worth all the worry and stress I’ve endured to get to the finished product. Seeing kids play on a playground or elderly tenants secure in their safe environment, that’s what it is all about – them.

How long have you been with the Louisiana Housing Corporation?

  • I’ve been with the LHC since March 2012.

What is something fun you’d like everyone to know about you?

  • Working in my garden is probably the most fun I have right now. When most people will use a beautiful day to go to the lake, fish or go out to eat, I would much rather be in my yard. Planting, weeding, fertilizing, you name it. Gardening is the best therapy I can do.

A day in the life of Kevin Jackson

Welcome to this month’s installment of the #IamLHC employee spotlight. #IamLHC will introduce you to Louisiana Housing Corporation employees and give you a glimpse into the important work they do daily. Today, we’re hearing from Kevin Jackson, IT Tech Support Specialist 3.

What is a typical office day like for you?

  • I review event logs on servers; respond to network, server, phone, and security issues; and preventive maintenance.

What is the overall goal of your program?

  • The goal is to optimize the LHC local and wide area networks and provide users and vendors with great customer service with technical aptitude.

What is your favorite or the most exciting part of your job?

  • Interacting with wonderful co-workers and resolving difficult technical issues

What is the hardest part of your job?

  • My job either isn’t that hard or I make it look easy.  Hopefully, it’s the latter.

How long have you been with the LHC? What did you do before?

  • I’ve been with the LHC almost 5 years.  Prior to LHC, I worked at Capital One as an IT Acquisition Principle Coordinator

What is something you’d like everyone to know about you (or like a fun fact question)?  

  • I have a home recording studio and I can play several musical instruments, including the xylophone.

A day in the life of Felicia McClay

Welcome back to the #IamLHC employee spotlight. #IamLHC will introduce you to Louisiana Housing Corporation employees and give you a glimpse into the important work they do daily. Today we’re hearing from Felicia McClay, Housing Counseling CoordinatorWhat is a usual day at the Louisiana Housing Corporationoffice like for you?Assisting people who are in foreclosure and people who are looking to repair their credit to purchase a home, processing grant invoices and providing technical assistance to Housing Counseling Sub-grantees.What is the overall objective of your program?Increase the homeownership rate in Louisiana and help current homeowners maintain their homes. We go over all of the lending documents and provide one-on-one time especially with the paperwork. We help alleviate fears by going over all the documentation for closing. We also assist those who may not want to be homeowners become smarter renters.What is something you’d like everyone to know about your program?Homebuyer education helps consumers make wise choices and become successful long-term owners.What is the most rewarding part of your job? Educating people about the home buying process and helping families to successfully purchase their first home.How long have you been with the LHC?Eight years.What are three fun facts about you? I have two kids and they are 10 years apart; my son is 20 and my daughter is 10. I used to be a comedian in high school and college and I still practice from time to time. I went to Grapevine, TX to see Huey Lewis and the News in concert once.

Welcome back to the #IamLHC employee spotlight. #IamLHC will introduce you to Louisiana Housing Corporation employees and give you a glimpse into the important work they do daily. Today we’re hearing from Felicia McClay, Housing Counseling Coordinator

What is a usual day at the Louisiana Housing Corporationoffice like for you?

  • Assisting people who are in foreclosure and people who are looking to repair their credit to purchase a home, processing grant invoices and providing technical assistance to Housing Counseling Sub-grantees.

What is the overall objective of your program?

  • Increase the homeownership rate in Louisiana and help current homeowners maintain their homes. We go over all of the lending documents and provide one-on-one time especially with the paperwork. We help alleviate fears by going over all the documentation for closing. We also assist those who may not want to be homeowners become smarter renters.

What is something you’d like everyone to know about your program?

  • Homebuyer education helps consumers make wise choices and become successful long-term owners.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

  • Educating people about the home buying process and helping families to successfully purchase their first home.

How long have you been with the LHC?

  • Eight years.

What are three fun facts about you?

  • I have two kids and they are 10 years apart; my son is 20 and my daughter is 10. I used to be a comedian in high school and college and I still practice from time to time. I went to Grapevine, TX to see Huey Lewis and the News in concert once.