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Stabilizing Communities Through Local Initiatives

SVP Dwight Robinson In four major metropolitan areas, the Take RootSM Community Stabilization Initiative provides a powerful means for stabilizing neighborhoods and making a positive difference in the lives of families who call these communities home.

Take Root's two-pronged approach promotes affordable new homebuying opportunities and helps struggling homeowners who are facing foreclosure. Both are needed for local housing markets to emerge successfully from the economic crisis and thrive. Take Root starts with Freddie Mac and local municipalities working to:

  • Unite housing professionals, lenders, realtors, and state and local governments around a common goal to stabilize neighborhoods that have been hardest hit by the housing crisis.

  • Minimize foreclosures by helping families keep their homes whenever possible and mitigate the negative effects of abandoned properties by bringing new homeowners into local neighborhoods.

  • Leverage the expertise and knowledge of trusted intermediaries to lead local education and outreach efforts.

  • Create a one-stop online presence that offers a wealth of foreclosure-prevention and homebuying resources.

Committed organizations made up of people who live and work in the community collaborate to help existing and new homeowners make informed decisions that will support their long-term homeownership success.

Four Communities Sharing a Common Goal

take root Milwaukee

In its first year, Take Root Milwaukee participated in more than 100 community events and:

  • Provided foreclosure counseling and assistance to more than 3,600 people.
  • Helped more than 2,400 families avoid foreclosure.
  • Provided homebuyer education and counseling to more than 3,500 people.
  • Assisted nearly 450 families buy a home and more than 150 purchase a foreclosed home.

Source: Take Root Milwaukee 2011 Annual Report Summary

Freddie Mac's role in this effort began in 2010, when we joined forces with the city of Milwaukee to launch the first Take Root initiative. Take Root Denver quickly followed Milwaukee and this year we helped launch Take Root in South Florida and Jacksonville, Florida.

The concept is simple. We work closely with local organizations to provide a program framework that includes a centralized web presence and promotional tools for outreach. Take Root participants also have the opportunity to leverage Freddie Mac's educational resources, such as our financial literacy curriculum CreditSmartSM, and our relationships in the housing counselor community.

From this foundation, other local organizations are invited to be in-kind participants – creating a comprehensive network that connects local families with the resources they need to make informed homeownership decisions.

Take Root Milwaukee, the longest-running program, is a coalition of 32 organizations working together in Milwaukee's neighborhoods to stem the tide of foreclosures and bring new homeowners into the area. Recognized for its achievements at the 2011 Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation, Take Root Milwaukee was awarded the Northern Trust Navigator Award for its outstanding efforts.

We are committed to Take Root and other innovations – like our Borrower Help Centers and Networks that focus on assisting the most-at-risk borrowers – as we continue on the path to revitalize our communities and support sustainable homeownership opportunities for America's families.


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