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Seal of Approval / Code of Ethics


Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association, Inc.
The Massachusetts Homeownership Collaborative

The Collaborative Seal of Approval

Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) is a statewide, non-profit housing organization that manages The Massachusetts Homeownership Collaborative, a collaboration of non-profit homebuyer counseling agencies, lenders, real estate professionals, government officials and other key players in the homeownership industry in Massachusetts. Through the Massachusetts Homeownership Collaborative’s “Seal of Approval,” the Collaborative sets minimum standards for agencies providing homebuyer education and counseling. All agencies that receive a Collaborative Seal of Approval are also expected to adhere to the Collaborative’s “Code of Ethics”.

The Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership (MVHP) has received a Collaborative Seal of Approval. To maintain the Seal of Approval, MVHP must provide homebuyer education classes targeted to low and moderate income, first-time homebuyers, and cover the information about the homebuying process that was determined by the Massachusetts Homeownership Collaborative to be most important.

The purpose of MVHP’s homebuyer counseling program is to educate and counsel prospective homebuyers to make informed, voluntary decisions regarding the homebuyer counseling program, so that you understand any inherent or unintentional biases they may have.

As manager of the Massachusetts Homeownership Collaborative and the Collaborative Seal of Approval process, CHAPA wants to ensure that anyone who attends a homebuyer education class from an agency with a Collaborative Seal of Approval gets the best quality education possible. If you have any concerns about the quality of the homebuyer education you received, or have reason to believe MVHP is not adhering to the Collaborative’s Code of Ethics, we want to hear from you! Your name will be kept strictly confidential. Please contact:

Massachusetts Homeownership Collaborative
CHAPA, 18 Tremont Street, Suite 401, Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 742-0820 0r 1-800-HOME-111
Fax: (617) 742-3953   www.chapa.org

CHAPA may request the names of participants in MVHP’s classes, and contact you to ask you about the quality of the education you received. If you do not want to be contacted, please notify your homebuyer counseling agency.

CODE OF ETHICS

All homebuyer counseling agencies that receive a Collaborative Seal of Approval must adhere to the following Code of Ethics:

  1. It shall be the intent of the counseling agency, and its guest speakers to educate and counsel prospective homebuyers to make informed, voluntary decisions regarding the homebuying process.
  2. The counseling agency shall disclose to prospective homebuyers how its counseling program is funded, including any financial support it receives from lenders or other relevant institutions.
  3. Agency staff must not limit the choices of any prospective homebuyer by directing the homebuyer to any one product or service, to the exclusion of other products or services for which the homebuyer may be eligible.
  4. Agency staff must not have any personal stake, financial or otherwise, in directing prospective homebuyers to any particular product or service.
  5. Agency staff and any guest speakers or other representatives must treat all prospective homebuyers with professional respect and courtesy.