Technically, Providence Home Mortgage Inc. will provide the funding. The newly formed mortgage brokerage is a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of the nonprofit ICCF. According to ICCF Executive Director Jonathan Bradford, the formation of
First, ICCF was spending a great deal of time and money to prepare underprivileged individuals for home ownership. “Then we were handing them off to a lender and, for the most part, it was like a hot knife through butter. I mean: ‘There they are. They’re ready,’” he said. “And the lender was, of course, reaping the financial benefits.”
“Since our work has resulted in success for several hundred families of lesser economic ability, why couldn’t we adjust that — position it just slightly differently — so that we helped all families?”
So in 2001, that is what ICCF set out to do.
Providence Home Mortgage opened its doors in December 2003, and has been closing 10 to 15 loans each month since. About 25 percent of those loans have been directly related to ICCF.
When Bradford hands a homebuyer over to
“We know that every ounce of their involvement in (a given family) is going to be rooted in the same values of respect and service. We know that (clients) are not going to be mistreated or taken advantage of. We know that what we have provided for the families in terms of their new-found skills and their polished-up self-confidence, we know that is going to be fed and expanded upon by the product
Providence CEO David J. Rozendal oversees that service. Rozendal sold his own mortgage company in order to become involved with nonprofits and give back to his community. He consulted with ICCF for about a year before being offered the head spot at
Bradford feels that Rozendal’s personal philosophies as well as his professional experience make him an ideal match for
“In the mortgage business, especially in the last several years, there are so many companies that are focused on how to pad their bottom line, how to make as much money as they possibly can,” Rozendal said. “Certainly, I want to make money. I’m a for-profit business. I’m very open about that with my clients. But I can’t do that while sacrificing service and the ability of the borrower to get into a good loan product.
“There are often times where we need to structure something with a transaction that I could do it to just purely benefit myself and nobody would ever know,” he said. “That’s one of the things about the industry, that so few people really understand this thing. But I won’t do it if it doesn’t benefit the client. If it doesn’t benefit the client, we have to figure out another way to do it to make it so it does benefit them.”
“That is simply not a common standard,”
As the sole shareholder in
“If somebody was willing to write us a check for $100 or $500 or $1,000 as a gift, a significant number of them might say, ‘Hmm. I could take my mortgage needs to them. I hear that their prices are very competitive. Their service is beyond reproach.’ And guess what? What modest profits are going to be generated are going to stay in
Attracting that higher-end business will be crucial in expanding the service
“MSHDA loans are, in my opinion, one of the best options available for anyone who qualifies,” he said. “The downside (for mortgage lenders) is that you don’t make a whole lot of money at it. But, because it’s the best option available, I have to make it available — I want to make it available — to our clients.”
“Serving low- to moderate-income families is labor-intensive. Doing it in a way that truly enhances their own economic future is not something that happens like falling off a log,” said