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Housing development fund helps potential homebuyers reach their dreams

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Erica Boggess Erica Boggess
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Erica Boggess is acting executive director of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund.

According to a report issued in March by Standard & Poor's, the West Virginia Housing Development Fund has maintained its "AAA" issuer credit rating for the 10th consecutive year. The "AAA" rating is the highest credit rating opinion issued by Standard & Poor's, the world's foremost provider of independent credit ratings, indices, risk evaluation, investment research and data. We are very proud of this rating, and every member of our staff works hard to ensure we maintain this designation. The fund is the only state housing finance agency in the nation with this distinction.

The report, released March 19 and available on our website, cites not only the fund's financial performance but specifically notes our "very strong and experienced management team," and our "mutually beneficial working relationship with the state Legislature." The fund's structure has allowed us to create and finance affordable housing for our residents. We have financed more than 114,000 housing units since our inception in 1969. Our connection with state leaders will remain dynamic, and we look forward to building on our already-established history as we continue to meet our mission of developing and improving housing opportunities for the residents of West Virginia.

S&P's report also noted that the fund's partnerships with the state's lending community and its commitment to adopting creative strategic initiatives may help the fund adjust to the new regulatory environment. By working with lenders at every level, from large banks to nonprofit agencies and all facets of the housing industry, particularly realtors and real estate agents, we can better reach those who need our programs most. 

West Virginians understand that owning a home is a vital part of the American dream, and they work hard every day to make that dream a reality. Sacrifice, dedication and perseverance mean something to our customers, and we're here to support them. Studies show that West Virginia has the highest rate of homeownership in the nation and a foreclosure rate that is less than the national average. This is clearly a positive for our state. Owning a home creates a sense of place and a sense of purpose; it is a sustainable, lasting investment in the community.

We certainly take pride in this rating, but it's bigger than the fund. It's a reflection of West Virginia and the people we serve. The housing industry has undergone tremendous change in recent years. The fund has been able to not only weather the storm, but we've developed new strategies and programs to better serve potential homebuyers. We've been able to meet the challenge because we are committed to quality and quite simply, we have the best customers in the country. We are honored that they have entrusted us with an investment as important as their home.