Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County Adds First-time Homebuyer Workshops In Spanish

Community & Services

Escalating costs have rendered homeownership nearly unattainable for an increasing number of Central Floridians. Recognizing this challenge, Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County has expanded its First-time Homebuyer Workshop schedule to twice a month, offering sessions in both English and Spanish.

First-time Homebuyer Workshops in Spanish will be offered:

  • June 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County, 4116 Silver Star Road Orlando, FL 32808
  • July 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Online

“We are grateful that Orange County partnered with us to educate more residents on essential topics of homeownership,” said Habitat for Humanity Greater Orlando & Osceola County President and CEO Catherine Steck McManus. “Our program exists to ensure first-time homeowners are successful at both home buying and home maintenance.”

The HUD-certified workshops are free of charge and satisfy a prerequisite for Orange County’s down payment assistance program. The 8-hour workshops cover credit, down payment aid, property titles, real estate agent roles, and homeowners’ insurance topics. In addition, HUD-certified housing counseling services are now available.

In June 2023, the nonprofit introduced its First-time Homebuyer Workshop initially in English. After discovering that 26.2 percent of County residents speak Spanish, the nonprofit recognized the need to add a Spanish language workshop to minimize language and accessibility barriers to homeownership.

“Language should not prevent someone from reaching their homeownership goals. We hope this service will help close the gap in our community’s Hispanic and Latino homeownership rates and provide resources and education to keep families in affordable homes,” McManus said.

Roughly 30 percent of the Hispanic or Latino population in Central Florida speak little English. And while homeownership rates for minority populations have made steady gains nationally, a large gap still persists. In Central Florida, 53 percent of the Hispanic or Latino population own a home, compared to 71 percent of the white or non-Hispanic population.

Habitat for Humanity Orlando & Osceola housing counselors and local community members facilitate workshops. Last year, over 250 aspiring first-time homebuyers attended.

Workshop facilitators include:

  • Karen Blandon, State Farm
  • Sandra Cruz & Antonio Bartolomei, Coldwell Banker
  • Eugene Martin III, Chase
  • Jennifer Roy & Byron Barrett, PNC
  • Alan L. Sandler, Esq., Near North Title Group
  • Jackie Robbins, SouthState Bank
  • Fernando Hurtado, Unique Property Inspections
  • Jo-El Gonzalez, Seacoast Bank
  • Ramon Pleas, City National Bank
  • Michelle Lopez, Farmer’s Insurance
  • Mitty Fontanez, Truist
  • Elba Barnaby, Seacoast Bank
  • Alberto Soto, Supreme Lending
  • Gladis Akers, Red Door Title Group

For more information and to register for a workshop, visit HabitatOrlando.org.

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