Houwzer launches home assistance fund for first-time homebuyers

Fund awards closing cost grants to low-to-moderate-income families

Houwzer launches home assistance fund for first-time homebuyers

Houwzer, a real estate brokerage and homeownership platform, has announced the launch of the RiseUp Fund, a Federally-chartered non-profit organization that serves low-to-moderate-income families who need help to secure their own homes.

Houwzer, a certified B Corporation, donates $100 to the RiseUp Fund for every transaction it makes. The fund offers a $5,000 grant to help cover closing costs for first-time homebuyers who are considered low- to moderate-income earners.

“As we continue to navigate one of the most difficult housing climates in history, Houwzer remains committed to leveling the playing field and assuring everyone has the opportunity to achieve the American dream of homeownership,” said Houwzer CEO Mike Maher. “Through the RiseUp Fund, we are putting real dollars and real resources directly in the hands of families who need it most. We help cover the closing costs while offering our expert salaried agents, affordable mortgage services, and a host of education and mentoring programs to set them up for successful homeownership long after the purchase of their first home.”

Read more: What’s discouraging US homebuyers?

Additionally, RiseUp offers HUD-certified homebuyer educational seminars, which are mandatory for the grant. Awardees will be assigned a HUD-Certified Housing Counselor as a mentor to assist them throughout their first year of homeownership. RiseUp uses the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) classification by the United Way and selects awardees based on their financial need, geography, and successful completion of a HUD-certified homebuyer education seminar.

This year, RiseUp said it will award $5,000 grants to 10 first-time homebuyers in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. The organization plans to double the number of grants to 20 and expand its footprint to the Washington, DC, and Baltimore, Md. markets in 2023. By 2024, RiseUp aims to reach Florida.

“Homeownership has always been the clearest path to wealth in America, but systematically there’s been inequitable access to buying a home,” said Suzanne Garber, CEO of the RiseUp Fund. “Our mission is to accelerate generational wealth of the underserved through homeownership. When our recipients close on their homes and are handed the keys, they’ve gained confidence, are more empowered, and have the knowledge and skills necessary to own and maintain a home for the long-term, passing on that asset to the next generations.”