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The First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling Demonstration

Donna DeMarco, Nichole Fiore, Shawn Moulton, Debbie Gruenstein Bocian, Laura Peck, Sarah Ballinger, Karen Cuenca, Louise Rothschild, Stephen Whitlow


February 3, 2017
Housing Counseling Demonstration baseline reportThe First-Time Homebuyer Education and Counseling Demonstration uses a randomized experimental design, the gold standard for evaluation, to evaluate the effectiveness of homebuyer education and counseling services for low-, moderate-, and middle-income (LMMI) prospective first-time homebuyers. The Demonstration began enrollment in September 2013 and is expected to follow study participants over 42 months to determine the impact of homebuyer education and counseling on a wide variety of outcomes related to homeownership preparedness and search; financial literacy, capability, and management; and homeownership sustainability.

As described in the report, the Demonstration has successfully completed its implementation phase, partnering with three national lenders and over 60 housing education and counseling agencies across 28 metropolitan areas to recruit and enroll a large sample of LMMI prospective first-time homebuyers and randomly assign them to three homebuyer education and counseling treatment groups and a control group that received no services.

This Baseline Report has four main objectives:
  1. To describe the Demonstration’s design;
  2. To detail the Demonstration’s implementation from inception through enrollment;
  3. To describe the study sample’s characteristics; and
  4. To describe the treatment groups’ experiences with the intervention through the first 12 months of their enrollment in the study.
This information provides context for interpreting later findings on intervention impacts.
North America