Four Directions and MaineStream Finance Join Forces to Increase Access to Homebuyer Education in Maine

October 28, 2016

Two CDFIs in Maine recently joined forces to offer a shared homebuyer education class in Orono, Maine. MaineStream Finance, a CDFI based in Bangor, Maine, provides monthly homebuyer education classes in Bangor, while Four Directions Development Corporation, a Native CDFI serving Maine’s tribal communities, provides one-on-one housing counseling for tribal members. What was unique about this class is that it built upon the strengths of both organizations to provide a group education class with specific information related to the home purchase process in tribal communities.

The class was held at the Four Directions office, proximate to Penobscot Nation. Four Directions and MaineStream Finance staff utilized their professional networks to bring in guest speakers from the community, including a real estate agent, loan officer, title company, and weatherization expert. MaineStream’s certified housing counselor and education provided course instruction, while Four Directions staff provided specific information related to purchasing and financing homes on tribal land.

Heather Massow, MaineStream’s instructor for the course, felt that the partnership was an important way to get valuable information to more people and communities. “Through the partnership with Four Directions, we were able to offer classes to more people, including tribal members, and make it convenient for participants to attend. We were able to let more people know about programs that may assist them to become first-time homebuyers.”

Four Directions and MaineStream Finance have an extensive history of working together on joint programming, both in the homeownership sector and beyond. In the future, the two CDFIs are exploring the possibility of using existing and compatible teleconferencing technologies to provide homebuyer education in rural and tribal communities remotely via webinar.