The Community Housing Council of Fresno has opened a small office in Bakersfield to help homeowners in foreclosure and those who are being scammed.
The Truxton Avenue office, which has one counselor, is the nonprofit housing counseling agency’s second location since being founded in 1994.
The agency’s main office is located near Blackstone and Ashlan avenues in Fresno.
“I have a lot of friends in the mortgage industry down there,” said John Shore, the agency’s executive director. “I went down there to speak at a meeting and nobody could understand what I do up here.”
The agency was created to help first-time homebuyers learn about the home buying process, but switched gears during the economic downturn to help homeowners in foreclosure. It now provides both foreclosure and homebuyer education workshops across the Central Valley and has become a go-to place for homeowners who need one-on-one help with a foreclosure or mortgage scam.
A lot of people are being scammed down there, Shore said. Kern County even started a task force on fraud which “showed me there is a need down there” for help.
Shore got some grant money from federal mortgage giant, Fannie Mae, and several banks to open the office on Sept. 1.
“There’s a need for a good agency” to help homeowners down there, Shore said.