WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, March 1st in Los Angeles, California, the White House will honor Stella Matadama as one of eleven housing counselors and HUD-approved organizations being recognized as Champions of Change for their hard work, perseverance and dedication to their communities. Stella Matadama has been selected for outstanding commitment and achievement representative of the collective work of thousands of housing counselors across the United States.
"Housing counselors work tremendously hard, each and every day, to help families realize the American dream,” said White House Senior Advisor, Valerie Jarrett. “From helping homeowners avoid foreclosure to making sure tenants understand their rights to working with borrowers to restore their credit, the men and women we honor today truly are 'Champions of Change.'"
The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.
Housing counseling assistance was developed over 40 years ago at a time of severe disinvestment in housing, unaffordable interest rates, high unemployment and irresponsible lending practices. Today, HUD approves, monitors and supports counseling organizations and tracks their output. Recent initiatives have extended the number and location of HUD-approved housing counseling organizations and reduced the amount of time and complexity of the process to award HUD housing counseling grants.
Stella Matadama works as a Certified Foreclosure Intervention Counselor and Housing Coordinator for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Orange County located in Santa Ana, California. She counsels one-on-one with clients and facilitates Foreclosure Prevention workshops. Stella is a founding member of the Orange County Home Ownership Preservation Collaborative (OCHOPC) and has been on the Board of Directors since 2009, currently serving as the Board Secretary and Chair of the Events & Counseling Committee. Stella has worked in the nonprofit housing arena for 17 years with a background in community organizing, first time homebuyer education, loan processor and housing counselor. Stella was recognized as a “2007 Latino OC 100” recipient, received the “2011 Women Making A Difference” award from US Senator Lou Correa, and the “2011 Charging Rhino” Award through CA Reinvestment Coalition, NCLA and NeighborWorks America for Housing Counselors.
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