Houwzer’s RiseUp Fund Helps Two Local Women Achieve First-Time Homeownership

Posted on Jan 31, 2023


Houwzer, the nation’s largest one-stop-shop real estate brokerage platform, announced today it has helped two local women achieve first-time homeownership through its sponsorship of the RiseUp Fund. RiseUp, an independent, federally-chartered nonprofit organization created by Houwzer, provides a clear path toward homeownership for underserved families through education, financial assistance, and empowerment.

“The RiseUp Fund played a crucial role in me being able to save money and gain grant money from ESSA Bank. They helped me step-by-step all the way through my settlement date.”

Denise Miller from Folcroft, PA and Arnita DeShields from Drexel Hill, PA were both able to purchase homes in the Greater Philadelphia region with the help of a combined $41,000 in contributions from the RiseUp Fund and its partner organizations ESSA Bank & Trust, United Way of Greater Philadelphia, Chester County Improvement Project (CCIP), and WSFS Bank. Both recipients had little or no out-of-pocket costs to close on their homes.

“Having an extremely difficult and disappointing time in my life, this grant made it possible for me to see a ray of hope,” said Denise Miller, a RiseUp Fund awardee. “The RiseUp Fund played a crucial role in me being able to save money and gain grant money from ESSA Bank. They helped me step-by-step all the way through my settlement date.”

Houwzer, a certified B Corporation since 2016 and the first B Corporation real estate brokerage in the world, is dedicated to giving back to the communities in which it serves. Through its preferred non-profit, the RiseUp Fund, the company donates $100 to the fund for every home it helps its clients buy or sell with 100% of those funds supporting eligible families with homebuyer grants and programs.

Using the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) classification as defined by the United Way, RiseUp serves low-to-moderate-income individuals and families who need help to secure their own home. Awards are based upon demonstrated financial need, geography, and successful completion of a HUD-certified homebuyer education seminar. All programs are offered to the Philadelphia and surrounding counties free of charge.

Arnita DeShields is now the first in her family to purchase a home. “The RiseUp Fund program has been a blessing for me. I was provided essential support, money from my sponsor [ESSA Bank & Trust] for closing, and advice on securing my first home,” said Arnita DeShields, another RiseUp Fund awardee.

"No matter the circumstances, everyone deserves a chance at homeownership," said Mike Maher, CEO of Houwzer. "At Houwzer, we believe that access to fair and safe housing should never be a privilege reserved only for the wealthy few; it's our mission to make sure everyone is given an equal opportunity. When private, public, and non-profit organizations come together to help the community, we can make an impact in not just one life but that of entire generations."

The RiseUp Fund also offers a host of education and mentoring programs to set up traditionally underserved populations for successful homeownership long after the purchase of their first home. Both DeShields and Miller will have access to HUD-certified mentors, who are volunteers from Houwzer, to support them during this important transition period from renter to homeowner.

To apply for RiseUp or become a partner in the Fund, please visit www.riseupfund.org.

About the RiseUp Fund:

RiseUp has a vision that every individual or family who is able to sustain the responsibilities of homeownership can achieve that milestone and build future wealth without discrimination. Our mission is to accelerate generational wealth of the underserved through homeownership. Owning one’s home has always been the clearest path to wealth in America, but without equal rights or access, it’s not always been achievable for many. By leveling the playing field through financial assistance, homebuyer education and mentoring programs, RiseUp supports upward mobility for many families who have been left behind. The Fund adheres to the economic guidelines set forth in the ALICE classification as defined by the United Way. Learn more or apply at www.riseupfund.org.

About Houwzer:

Houwzer is a next-generation real estate brokerage and home services company built around the customer. Its full-service, salaried agents and mortgage advisors help homeowners save when they sell and trust when they buy. Houwzer’s proprietary technology is a unified, end-to-end platform that streamlines the entire transaction with an integrated one-stop shopping experience. The company employs agents and advisors, who receive base and variable salary instead of commissions, allowing them to focus on service, not just sales. Houwzer has maintained an industry-leading Net Promoter Score of 84 and an average rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars from over thousands of client reviews online. Since launching in 2015, Houwzer has saved home sellers tens of millions along the East Coast and helped clients buy or sell thousands of homes worth more than $2 billion. To learn more, visit houwzer.com.


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