Housing Counselor, Wydia Copes, counsels a client.

Housing Counseling

Southwest CDC’s Housing Counseling Program serves as a primary program in our initiatives to strengthen the neighborhood. We provide comprehensive housing counseling services focused towards Southwest Philadelphia residents. We are a HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agency. Housing Counseling helps Southwest CDC be a one-stop-shop for housing and utility services.

Housing Counseling Services:

  • Home Purchase Counseling (link to description below)
  • Mortgage Default and Delinquency (link to description below)
  • Property Tax Default or Delinquency (link to description below)
  • HEMAP (Homeowners Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program)
  • Tenant Counseling
  • Rental Assistance
  • Tax Lien Counseling
  • Anti-predatory Lending
  • Deed Related Problems
  • Housing Consumer Education
  • Post-occupancy Homeownership Counseling
  • Budgeting & Credit Repair

Click Here for Utility Assistance and Energy Conservation

First Time Home Buyer Education

Interested in buying a home? We offer pre-purchase workshops that explain what mortgage lenders look for to qualify a mortgage; how to understand, budget and manage your money; and available grants to assist with down payment and settlement costs.

The housing counselors are here to help you with financial planning, building a positive credit rating and saving for your down payment. They can also help you qualify for grants and loans to make your purchase possible. Once you purchase your home, our counselors are still here to assist you with budgeting, maintaining your home and home improvement loans.

Mortgage Default and Delinquency

Southwest CDC’s staff of certified housing counselors will assist homeowners who are experiencing a financial hardship and are at risk of falling behind on their mortgage payments, or who have received an Act 91 Notice or legal complaint and are currently facing foreclosure action.  The goal of foreclosure prevention and mortgage default counseling is to review your current situation and get you current on your mortgage or provide the best possible options.

Our professional staff of certified housing counselors will provide confidential and comprehensive housing counseling services that include the following:

  • Obtain a clear understanding of your current situation and objectives
  • Determine a time frame to accomplish your objectives
  • Complete a current budget analysis and work with you to establish realistic goals
  • Help bring your mortgage current if only budget concessions are necessary
  • Evaluate current financial hardship and status of resolution
  • Work with mortgage servicer to help you obtain a loan modification, repayment plan, forbearance or other workout solution
  • Prepare and submit workout proposals to prevent foreclosure
  • Create a detailed action plan to accomplish you objectives
  • Make referrals to financial assistance programs that my help bring the mortgage current
  • Advocating on behalf of homeowners through The Philadelphia Diversion Program conciliation conferences and on Petitions to Postpone Sheriff’s Sale

Property Tax Default and Delinquency

Our staff of housing counselors can assist homeowners who are past due on their real estate taxes, facing legal action by the City of Philadelphia Department of Revenue to collect real estate taxes, or have their property scheduled for a Sheriff’s Sale due to real estate tax liens.

The Owner Occupied Payment Agreement is an option for people who own and reside in the property. The agreement is designed to create an affordable repayment agreement on delinquent taxes, while also requiring the homeowner to stay current on new taxes as they become due each year.

Southwest CDC housing counselors assist homeowner with the following services;

  • Prepare Owner Occupied Payment Agreement application for the City of Philadelphia Department of Revenue
  • Assist with probate basics; Instruction on establishing ownership interest and tangle title resolution
  • Applying for Homestead Exemption to reduce annual tax bill
  • Assist with Petitions to Postpone Sheriff’s Sale
  • Referrals to Philadelphia Legal Assistance, Senior Law and community Legal Services

Southwest CDC Housing Counselors:

  • Have adopted the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling;
  • Are nationally certified through the NeighborWorks Center for Homeownership Education and Counseling in pre-purchase and foreclosure;
  • Are certified by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency’s Homeownership Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP);
  • Provide comprehensive housing counseling services and are trained in the areas of mortgage financing and real estate practices, tenant-landlord laws, fair housing laws, foreclosure, and energy conservation and utility assistance programs.
  • Are bilingual (Spanish/English) and are very familiar with the needs of low to moderate-income families.
  • Stay informed on other housing related activities in the community to provide clients with other related services they may be eligible for.

“Take Charge of Your Money”

Meet with a financial coach who will help you:

  • Create a personal or family budget
  • Bolster your credit score
  • Draft an action plan for managing your family’s finances, and more

Take charge of your money!

The financial decisions you make today will shape the quality of your life in the years ahead.


Financial Empowerment Center
PHFA Housing Counseling

Contact Info:

Bonitta Calicat
Housing Counselin Program Assistant
Email Bonitta