Tag Archives: fhe

Financial and homeownership team thanks state Sen. Booher

One of the things that we have been talking about over the past few months is the importance of developing our strategic communications to work on relationship-building. Strong relationships with clientele, stakeholders and communities can help ensure that our audiences know what we’re doing for them and help us make a difference in our communities. Sometimes, the most important strategy is just to say thank you, as evidenced by a recent meeting between the Michigan State University Extension Financial and Homeownership Education work team and state Sen. Darwin Booher.

senator booher fhe

In 2012, Booher was instrumental in passing legislation that provided resources to struggling homeowners. One part of the bill included funding to help MSU Extension provide a larger net of resources to individuals and families across the state. This funding has given more than 11,500 Michigan residents and their families access to education or counseling from the Financial and Homeownership Education work team.Senator Infographic

When the team met with Booher earlier this month, they presented him with an infographic that showed just how many Michigan residents had worked with our staff with the help of the funds he had helped procure. See the full-sized infographic.

This infographic went a long way toward educating Booher about his impact on MSU Extension. It showed that with his legislative work, we were able to help prevent foreclosures and provide information to new homeowners across the state. By sharing our stories with those who have helped us, we can help them feel more confident in helping us again in the future, so that they aren’t only hearing from us when we need something from them.

So consider sharing some of your success stories next time you’re given the chance, because the work you’re all doing is making serious impacts on your communities! Great job, team!

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Filed under Accomplishments

MSU Extension encourages Michigan to be “Money Smart”

This week, April 18-25, is Money Smart Week 2015. While the week may be more than halfway over, that does not mean you have to miss this excellent opportunity to get your finances in order with your colleagues in the Financial and Homeownership Education Work Team. In partnership with Money Smart Week Michigan, Michigan State University Extension staff members are hosting events going on across the state through Saturday, many of which you may complete online from the comfort of your own home. Visit Money Smart Week to see the events available.

Additionally, if you have a Michigan State University student in your family, you might want to let them know about the possibility of a $1,000 prize if they participate in “GeoCache for College Cash,” a hunt for personal finance treasures. While each of the colleges that participate in this program handle the contest differently, the event organizers at MSU decided to keep the contest to one location instead of all across the sprawling campus in East Lansing. The MSU event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. tonight, April 23, in Room 300 of the Human Ecology building on campus.

If you aren’t available this week, but still want to help support your colleagues, you can find them at MIMoneyHealth.org, and on Facebook and Twitter.

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Filed under Greening Michigan

Tom Izzo wants you to be on the winning team

The Michigan State University Extension Financial and Homeownership Education Work Group has just launched a radio campaign to promote its programming across the state. The 30-second commercial produced by Dave Ellis from Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications features Coach Tom Izzo from the Michigan State University basketball team.

You can view the ad here:

The ad will run from January to March 2015 on statewide radio stations, including during March Madness, to promote MIMoneyHealth.org. The Financial and Homeownership Education Work Group has updated its information and resources about money management, homeownership and foreclosure on their website. Their new postforeclosure curriculum, Starting Over After Foreclosure Toolkit, will launch on this site in early January.

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Filed under Greening Michigan

Money management classes taught in the deaf community

One of our values at Michigan State University Extension is the commitment to reaching out to diverse clientele and finding ways to adapt our content to their needs. This November, Wanda Roberts, Extension educator in Oakland County with the Financial and Homeownership Education Team, taught a Money Management Workshop Series at Faith Assembly Deaf Church in Pontiac.

The program reached 21 people who are deaf, three who are deaf and blind, and three who are hard of hearing. The program engaged eight sign language interpreters each week to work with the group. Topics presented during the series included making money decisions, creating and managing a spending plan, managing credit and debt, as well as saving and investing.

The participant feedback was very positive. Two participant responses follow:

  • I enjoyed learning. I’m prepared for the future. I can now protect myself and my family. The three classes were worth it! Many deaf and hard of hearing wouldn’t have the opportunity to learn these details.
  • I’m very impressed since I actually understood all of it. I’m not even anxious a bit. I like the way the instructor was patient with all questions and was open about our concerns.

Our commitment to Michigan individuals and families extends to many diverse audiences, and it’s exciting to see how the partnerships we make can help facilitate that.

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Filed under curriculum, diversity

Extension staff members help residents through property tax assistance

In a July 26, 2012, Spotlight, I told you about the Step Forward Michigan Program. The U.S. Department of the Treasury established the Hardest Hit Fund in 2010 to aid families in states hit hardest by the economic and housing market downturn. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) oversees distribution of the fund in Michigan where it’s known as the Step Forward Michigan Program.

In January 2013 through the Step Forward Michigan Program, the MSHDA added property tax assistance to their Loan Rescue Program. Homeowners that have endured a qualifying involuntary hardship that has caused them to fall behind may be eligible. Without this assistance, these homeowners, which in many cases have paid off their home mortgage, would have lost their homes due to tax foreclosure.

Our Michigan State University Extension counseling and support staff provide ongoing help to homeowners in getting questions answered, helping with the application process and correcting applications so that Macomb County residents have the best chance for assistance. Greening Michigan Extension, Financial and Homeownership Education (FHE) educator Jean Lakin leads the team of Natalie Ciampichini, Helena Fleming, AmeriCorps member Alicia McMiller and Rob Weber.

Extension educator and District 11 coordinator Marie Ruemenapp said, “Macomb Executive’s Office staff and the treasurer are just ecstatic with what MSUE (Jean and her staff) have been able to do.”

“The very productive partnership between MSU Extension and the Macomb County Treasurer’s Office is really what has driven the success of this program in Macomb,” said Ted Wahby, the Macomb County treasurer. “As we reach out to delinquent taxpayers, we know we can count on Jean Lakin and her team of housing counselors at MSUE to guide people through the application process. Our team effort has resulted in more than $1.1 million dollars in back taxes paid, and more than 175 families no longer at risk of losing their home.”

Read more in this Macomb Daily article: http://www.macombdaily.com/government-and-politics/20131003/treasurers-program-collects-900000-saves-hundreds-of-homes

Macomb is not the only county taking advantage of the Step Forward Michigan program and of the help given by MSU Extension staff.

Denine Kamprath, deputy Monroe County treasurer said, “We feel that this program is a wonderful opportunity to help people that have hardship situations be able to get ‘caught up’ on the back taxes that they owe, and to keep them out of the foreclosure situation. Hopefully, by getting this assistance, they will be able to stay on track and avoid falling back into this pattern for the future. . . . Thanks for all your continuous help with our residents.”

In Monroe County, according to Deputy Treasurer Kamprath, with support from MSU Extension staff members Terry Clark-Jones and Pam Sarlitto, 18 residents have been assisted and a total amount of $113,533.94 in back taxes has been collected as of October 2013.

MSU Extension is an MSHDA-certified housing counseling agency. We have been assisting Michigan residents in applying for the tax foreclosure Step Forward Michigan funds since Jan. 15.

Other Financial and Homeownership Education work group members across the state involved in helping Michigan residents through the Step Forward Michigan program besides those mentioned above include Jim Buxton, Scott Day, Sharon Jeffery, Mike Krauch, Brenda Long, Julie Moberg, AmeriCorps member Vicki Newcomb, Christine Venema, Beth Waitrovich and Vivian Washington.

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Filed under Financial education