First American Title Announces Partnership with Florida Housing Groups

September 18, 2006

First American Title Insurance Company will host a special event on Sept. 18 to recognize a group of eight Florida nonprofit organizations that the company has partnered with to further the shared goals of increasing homebuyer education and the development of affordable housing in Central Florida. The event, which will include remarks from Phil Rogers, chairman of the Pinellas REALTOR® Organization, will take place at 11 a.m. on Sept. 18 at Tucson’s Cantina & Grill, 13563 Icot Blvd. in Clearwater, Fla.

The sponsored organizations to be recognized include:

  • Florida Community Loan Fund
  • Florida Housing Coalition
  • St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Services
  • Community Development Corporation of Tampa
  • Tampa Bay Community Development Corporation
  • Clearwater Neighborhood Housing Services
  • Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Central Florida & the Florida Gulf Coast
  • Housing and Education Alliance;

First American Title will present $50,000 in grants from the First American Homeownership Foundation to the eight organizations. The contributions will assist in the development of more than 600 affordable new homes for low- to moderate-income families throughout Florida, and to provide homebuyer education and counseling services to more than 1,000 households. In addition to monetary donations, First American employees will provide volunteer labor for home maintenance services on the sponsored properties and educational services to help homebuyers and potential homebuyers better understand the closing process and the role of title insurance in protecting their investment.

“First American is working to close the homeownership gap in under-served communities, and these organizations play a critical role in that process,” said Vivian Vasallo, Southeast Region Emerging Markets director for First American. “By educating consumers about the homebuying process and building the affordable housing so desperately needed for our workforce in Florida, these groups are true catalysts for change in our communities. We are proud to provide our expertise and grant funds to this important effort and lead our industry in helping foster new homeownership opportunities.”

In addition to the previously mentioned activities, First American supported the Florida Housing Coalition’s recently held Annual Statewide Affordable Housing Conference and will host Florida Housing Finance Corporation’s Affordable Housing Catalyst Program at the company’s conference center in St. Petersburg, Fla. These workshops are the state’s principle resource for training and education on affordable housing issues for local government officials and nonprofit organization representatives. The company will also extend its support to St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Services’ effort to develop affordable modular homes for low-income families in St. Petersburg’s Bartlett Park area. The pilot program, which over time has the potential to address the housing needs of hundreds of area residents challenged with finding affordable housing along the hurricane-battered Gulf Coast, is now underway with the first home scheduled for completion in October.

“The need for housing that is affordable for all Floridians—including our workforce, low-income, elderly and those with special needs—continues to increase,” said Michael Davis, executive director of Florida Housing Coalition. “Without partners like First American, many families would be without safe, decent and affordable housing. We see a critical need for well-designed programs that help Florida homebuyers bridge the gap between skyrocketing homes prices and leveled median incomes. Affordable homeownership opportunities create stable and healthy communities, and the Coalition is committed to working in partnership with First American and other industry leaders to improve affordable homeownership choices for all Floridians.”

Source: The First American Corporation

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