HIP Homeownership and Foreclosure Prevention Educational Campaign 2011

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Since the beginning of the homeownership crisis, Prince George’s County of Maryland consistently reports some of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. The US Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded the area’s leading homeownership counseling organization, Housing Initiative Partnership (HIP; www.hiphomes.org), a grant to strengthen their capacities and develop a multimedia public awareness campaign with Hispanic Communications Network (HCN) to increase their housing counseling services to both current and prospective Spanish-speaking homeowners. The initiative launched at HIP’s counseling center, where high-ranking elected officials, media, community partners and clients gathered for the kickoff of the campaign. The first phase focused on foreclosure prevention. HCN produced a series of public service advertisements for radio and public transport (Metro stations, train cars, buses) featuring the inspirational story of a real HIP client. The PSAs, together with live call-in talk radio shows and a series of interviews on TV, radio and print, highlighted the client’s experiences, initially as a victim of loan modification scammers until she connected with HIP to identify solutions that successfully save her home. The second phase focused on sustainable homeownership targeting prospective and current homeowners. HCN developed radio PSAs, accompanied by a media tour series with HIP spokespersons, to inform and encourage those in the homebuying market to enroll in HIP’s homebuyer education classes and counseling services, with the additional incentive of becoming eligible to receive free counseling services from HIP and downpayment assistance from the local county government. In addition to media platforms, HCN also worked with HIP to develop outreach tools, including a brochure and flyers, for dissemination by HIP and their community partners. This 8-week campaign and multimedia strategy generated a spike in calls to HIP’s hotlines, leading to a number of new clients for both foreclosure prevention and homebuyer education counseling services.