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Take Root South Florida Initiative Addresses Foreclosure Prevention and Homeownership in Florida
Multi-media effort to help create awareness following kick-off; local experts available via "211" support line

MIAMI-DADE, Fla. and BROWARD, Fla., Jan. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  Freddie Mac, the CNC and the Urban League of Broward County have joined forces to reach out to the Miami-Dade community and Broward communities focusing on foreclosure prevention and creating homeownership possibilities. CNC and The Urban League of Broward will be hosting consecutive press conference breakfast kick-offs to launch the Take Root South Florida initiative. This initiative is a marketing campaign to help mitigate the negative effects of foreclosure and abandonment in our community. Take Root South Florida is designed to be a valuable resource that provides free or low-cost, reliable and trustworthy assistance to help you purchase a new home or keep your current home. A variety of local experts have been gathered and made accessible to our local community specifically to provide support in stabilizing families and neighborhoods by simply dialing "211."

The program kicked off last year in Palm Beach County (West Palm Beach, FL) with great success, led by The Housing Leadership Council of Palm Beach County (HLC) which is a non-profit organization with a core of business, civic and community leaders working to sustain the economic viability of the area by ensuring that housing is attainable for the workforce at all income levels. HLC accomplishes this through a multifaceted approach including partnership/collaboration building, information & education, public policy, and housing studies, research and data collection/analysis.  Their vision aligns with CNC and The Urban League of Broward County. That is, strive to ensure all the workforce has housing that is affordable, attainable, appropriate and sustainable.

"As part of our efforts we are launching the Take Root South Florida campaign to preserve and promote sustainable, diverse neighborhoods by encouraging and maintaining sustainable homeownership," said Sonia Lopez, President and CEO of CNC.

"Take Root South Florida is an outreach and marketing campaign which will seek to provide education, information and referral services in order to market two key concepts in stabilization:  'Keep Your Home' and 'Buy A Home.'  The 'Keep Your Home' concept will be an outreach effort to individuals in danger of losing their home to foreclosure who need information and options.  'Buy a Home' is targeted to renters and potential first time buyers that can take advantage of the hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus money designed to encourage owner occupancy in neighborhoods," added Dr. Germaine Smith-Baugh, ED.D Urban League of Broward County.

"We believe fear and uncertainty may still be keeping too many borrowers from getting the help they're qualified to receive," says Christina Diaz Malone, Vice President of Corporate Relations and Housing Outreach, Freddie Mac. "We are proud to launch Take Root South Florida with CNC and the Urban League of Broward County. Because both are trusted and valued resources, Take Root South Florida can reduce the chance of South Floridians losing their homes because they didn't know who to call and trust."

For so many families, life is a daily struggle. Karen Lanthier has heard the stories first-hand. A housing counselor, Lanthier has helped countless families navigate the housing crisis. It is difficult. Often complicated. 

"We have a great majority of people who have been unemployed or underemployed and that has had a terrific impact on the way they've been able to manage their finances," she said.   Help is out there. But it's often hard to find. 

That's where Take Root South Florida comes in. It is a campaign lead by HLC that has set out to help families and stabilize neighborhoods.  "This really is the 911 for the housing crisis. This is the call you make to get help," said Suzanne Cabrera President and CEO of the Housing Leadership Council.  It works with a simple premise. 

"For one thing, we're giving reliable information and really taking the confusion out of the programs that are out there. It's one call. It's one source to get all the help you need to save your home," Cabrera said.  It's that easy.  A single phone call to '211' that puts tens of thousands of families in touch with the help they need." 

According to Lanthier, "There are reputable places they can go. There are free services for most families."  Lanthier has seen the struggles. "It's really going to help a lot of people who have been misinformed. Help that can turn things around."

The first event will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. at CNC hosted by our co-sponsors at the United Way of Miami 3250 SW 3rd Ave, Miami, FL. 33129. The second event will be held on Friday, January 18th at 8:30am at The Urban League of Broward County 560 Northwest 27th Avenue Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311. Guests include but not limited to: media, press, local government, nonprofit housing counselors, local business community, realtors, lenders and other housing stakeholders. Part of CNC's goal and the Urban League of Broward County is reducing the number of residents facing foreclosure by partnering with lending institutions to offer loan modifications/refinancing and other strategies to keep them in their homes.  Their objective also entails promoting financial literacy in our community by conducting workshops to inform and educate our residents and also to empower residents who need one-on-one counseling to address their credit issues. 

There will be a multi-media campaign launch to help further educate our communities beginning February 2013 by Carnegie Communications, Ft. Lauderdale Fl. 33309 .A division of the Carnegie Group.  http://www.thecarnegiegroup.com/

Media inquiries:
CNC please contact:  Addamys Lopez, alopez@cnc.org, 305-642-3484 x111 
Urban League of Broward: Courtnee Biscardi, cbiscardi@ulbcfl.org, 954-584-0777
Randi Gold: V.P. Carnegie Group, randi.gold@thecarnegiegroup.com, 561-315-6619

Take Root South Florida, click here   bitly link: http://bit.ly/I52LWt

SOURCE Take Root South Florida

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