Author Topic: Totally random, but Melinda related  (Read 3062 times)

Jessica

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Totally random, but Melinda related
« on: October 10, 2007, 11:30:21 pm »
Q&A with Mike Loftin, executive director of Homewise, inc.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE • OCTOBER 2007

MIKE LOFTIN has been the executive director of Homewise, Inc., in Santa Fe, N.M., since 1992. Founded in 1986, the nonprofit organization has helped more than 1,600 people purchase their homes and more than 800 people keep their homes by providing financial and technical assistance for home repair.

Homewise also has trained and counseled more than 4,500 people toward homeownership. The organization is also a developer that has built more than 300 affordable homes.

Loftin was named 2007 practitioner of the year by the National NeighborWorks Association, the trade association of NeighborWorks organizations. He also serves on the board of the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, the state housing finance agency.

Q Why are you in the affordable housing business?

A By accident. I had a professor at Northwestern, John McKnight, who got me interested in how to revitalize disinvested communities. I became a community organizer and kept bumping into housing issues. What I learned is that if people won’t or can’t buy a home in a community, that community is going to have problems. I have been fascinated about how to create healthy housing markets ever since.

Q What has been the biggest challenge for Homewise this year, and how are you meeting that challenge?

A Raising enough capital to fund our “super-prime” mortgage product. We believe that if people are willing to play by the rules—save money, reduce debt, make payments on time, be a good credit risk— they should benefit from the most attractive financing. We have created a “super-prime” mortgage that accomplishes this, but have a capital gap in funding these mortgages. We are currently in discussions with several investors to raise the needed capital.

Q What’s the best move that Homewise has made this year?

A The best move has been our actual move…into our new building. After many years of preaching homeownership, we are finally practicing homeownership. I always had a pretty nice office in our other buildings but I guess some of my staff were tired of having their desks in the hallways and using a garage as a conference room.

Q Describe the affordable housing situation in Santa Fe.

A The median price of a home is well over $400,000. While you would be hard pressed to find a home priced below $200,000, if you were in the market for a home with a price tag over a million, you’d have over 300 homes to choose from.

Q Tell us about a recent family that your organization has helped.

A Last year, we helped over 200 families purchase homes. One was a teacher and a single mother who was planning on leaving Santa Fe but decided to stay when she found out she really could own a home here. Given our high housing costs and the low wages of teachers, every teacher that stays teaching here helps our schools.

Q In addition to helping people buy their own homes, Homewise is also a developer. What are you building?

A A little something for everyone. We have small townhomes with patios and carports on up to four-bedroom detached homes with big yards and a two-car garage, and everything in between. We have sites in different areas throughout the city, and we’re always trying to provide more diversity of choice to our customers. The consistent theme is highquality construction standards that pay special attention to energy- and water-saving measures. We want our customers to continue saving money on a Homewise home even after they close and move in.

Q Where would we find you when you are not working?

A Trying to help my kids with math problems I haven’t even thought about for the last 25 years. Digging weeds in my garden. Meandering through the forest looking for edible mushrooms.

Q What’s your favorite place in Santa Fe?

A The Sangre de Cristo mountains east of Santa Fe.

Q What’s the best business advice that you have received?

A When someone begins a statement with “It’s not about the money …,” it’s about the money.

Q Who’s your hero and why?

A Martin Luther King. He taught us that we can effectively confront those who inflict harm on others without dehumanizing them or ourselves.

Q If you weren’t working in affordable housing, what would you be doing?

A Meandering through the forest looking for edible mushrooms. Or teaching high school.

Q What’s something people don’t know about you?

A That I love watching American Idol. Actually, it’s my secret weapon. I’ve turned around more than one contentious meeting by finding out that the other person shares my admiration for Melinda Doolittle or my confusion over Sanjaya’s hair.


Q What’s next for you and Homewise?

A Launching the Homewise Community Investment Fund, which will make it easy for Santa Fe residents to invest in helping working Santa Feans own a home in their hometown.


source: housingfinance.com

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Re: Totally random, but Melinda related
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2007, 02:59:52 am »
Sounds like we have a new recruit in the making here !! Thumbs Up

Melissa and Megan

Tiger

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Re: Totally random, but Melinda related
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2007, 03:25:49 am »
The Melinda love is everywhere!  Thanks Je!  I am so happy that your avatar is back...I missed seeing your pretty face!
Don't look down on small beginnings - Melinda.

Bernie

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Re: Totally random, but Melinda related
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2007, 04:20:13 am »
Can we find Homewise, inc, and send him a letter? ILT?
Your supporter and fan in Boston, Bernie

sueintucson

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Re: Totally random, but Melinda related
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2007, 06:26:20 am »
Great find, Jess!  As usual   Thumbs Up    World Hug
Sue

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Stand often in the company of dreamers:
  they tickle your common sense & believe you can achieve
  things which are impossible.
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Labelle

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Re: Totally random, but Melinda related
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2007, 09:41:22 am »
 Thanks Jess,    Big hug
  I want to be all that I am capable of becoming....(Katherine Mansfield)

angel4peace

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Re: Totally random, but Melinda related
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2007, 07:19:19 pm »
Thanks Je wonderful article, you are an amazing researcher, were did you find this! I love Santa Fe! What a great service he is providing to the community.
Yes, ILT can we get a letter out to him. I love New Mexico. Santa Fe is the most expensive city in the state and the gentrification is making it hard for the working poor to keep or buy their homes. Sounds like someone we would love to have as part as a member of our site!
Love angel

Alan

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Re: Totally random, but Melinda related
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2007, 11:45:35 pm »
Thanks Je wonderful article, you are an amazing researcher, were did you find this! I love Santa Fe! What a great service he is providing to the community.
Yes, ILT can we get a letter out to him. I love New Mexico. Santa Fe is the most expensive city in the state and the gentrification is making it hard for the working poor to keep or buy their homes. Sounds like someone we would love to have as part as a member of our site!
Love angel
I sent an email to the info@homewise.org and had a reply from someone there that she is going to forward it to the man in the article.

angel4peace

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Re: Totally random, but Melinda related
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2007, 12:00:33 am »
Thanks Alan! I think he would be a great addition to our group!

MelindaRules1987

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Re: Totally random, but Melinda related
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2007, 02:21:08 am »
The Melinda love is everywhere!  Thanks Je!  I am so happy that your avatar is back...I missed seeing your pretty face!
I don't understand how anyone couldn't love Melinda.  Thumbs Up

Backup641

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Re: Totally random, but Melinda related
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2007, 03:55:35 am »
My word!  OK... can we give Jess 10 stars??? 
Linda
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Let's see... JESUS, EAT, SLEEP... yep, sounds like Melinda has her priorities straight to me!

Marlene

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Re: Totally random, but Melinda related
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2007, 11:47:34 am »
 Thanks
Jessica for the article...
and Alan for the e-mail...
Melinda's love does spread onto everyone  Heartbeat
 World Hug