The Homeownership Collaborative, a coalition of real estate trade associations and nonprofit housing counseling providers, yesterday released its first report on steps that can be taken to increase use of homeownership education and housing counseling services available nationwide.

The Collaborative involved lenders, real estate agents and housing counselors who sat down together in four cities to increase homeownership opportunities in their markets.

The report, Creating Channels of Opportunity in Diverse & Emerging Homebuying Markets, reports back on the combined efforts of these organizations to host partnerships in local housing markets aimed at increasing homeownership opportunities by working with HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, as well as lessons learned to date.

In February, Habitat for Humanity of Iowa, Habitat for Humanity of Tennessee and Habitat for Humanity ofColorado held state advocacy days to influence their state legislators to support a variety of affordable housing programs and policies. Both Habitat Iowa and Habitat Colorado are championing state tax legislation to increase funding for affordable homeownership. Affiliate staff, volunteers, and homeowners participated in these events and visited hundreds of state legislators.