The mission of the ECLT is to strengthen communities by providing permanently affordable housing and financial empowerment opportunities for working families and individuals throughout Essex County.
With the cost of living rising, and the wages of many working families remaining stagnant, it is important to create and preserve permanent affordable housing opportunities; this is what the ECLT’s Opportunity We Need (OWN) program is all about. In suburban areas, the ECLT’s OWN program creates homeownership opportunities that make it possible for low- to moderate-income (LMI) families to live in communities they may work in. In urban areas, the ECLT’s OWN program locks in the affordability of homes for longtime residents to remain even after the community has been redeveloped and housing prices have increased. The ECLT’s OWN program serves clients whose income ranges between 50-120% of the Area Median Income. The program only acquires homes within Essex County however anyone from any location is welcome to participate and apply to buy a home.
With foreclosures still occurring and predatory loans still being offered, it is important to provide affordable homeownership opportunities while also educating the community about finances and how the homebuying process should work. Therefore, the ECLT also has a quarterly financial empowerment series called the Mega Financial Freedom Homebuyers Club (Mega-FFHC). Mega-FFHC focuses upon homeownership education, financial education, savings, budgeting, credit repair and more. The club teaches principles about financial growth that wealthy people know. Each quarter, power packed speakers and teachers gather to educate the community in how to be a success homeowner, the value of a dollar, and ways to get out of debt and grow their money.