Message from MHI Executive Director

I want to thank the Board of Directors for giving me this opportunity to serve as Executive Director of the Mississippi Homebuyer Education Center-Mississippi Housing Initiative (MHI). Our vision for the organization is to position it to address the various housing issues in our service area.  This will require us to increase our counseling services throughout our service area of five (5) states, to preserve and restore individuals’ and families’ confidence in the American dream of homeownership and to develop new housing opportunities. To accomplish this vision, we will increase our collaboration with our partners, affiliates and staff.

The Mississippi Homebuyer Education Center-Mississippi Housing Initiative (MHI) is a regional financial intermediary covering the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana.. We are dedicated to working with nonprofits, for profit developers, lenders and other housing related entities throughout our service area. The organization has received HUD Best Practice Awards for its curriculum, which has provided the quality, confidence and availability of homeownership counseling that allows lenders to provide more homeownership opportunities to first time homebuyers and others seeking to own a home.

MHI was established to help the mortgage industry better serve potential homebuyers-especially the first time homebuyer-by making quality homeownership education and counseling readily available. We provide our subgrantees and affiliates with:

  • Train and certify homebuyer education counselors and assist in the conversion to Housing Counselors.
  • Building relationships between counseling providers, financial institutions, real estate agents and other housing entities.
  • Organizing workshops and conferences to help counselors share ideas, and obtain the knowledge to deliver effective counseling services.
  • Assisting Affiliates with their program implementation and workshops.
  • Move into housing development – both single and multi-family.

The homeownership education curriculum offers an eight-hour classroom type format that provides clients with an overview of the home buying process. It is designed to evaluate advantages and disadvantages of homeownership, budgeting, and credit analysis. This training also covers how to obtain a mortgage, the closing process, property maintenance, and other responsibilities of homeownership. Finally, it also addresses the need for a home inspection, energy efficiency, and understanding real estate appraisals.
We must continue to be creative in finding ways to improve access to homeownership and provide renters with their rights. Fair Housing is also a center note for us. In addressing the many issues in the housing industry, we are acutely aware of the limited resources, especially in the more rural areas. We will bring additional resources to those areas needing them most by increasing their   awareness of available resources and assisting them to acquire what they need to improve their services to the community.    

Malcolm Shepherd
Executive Director