What is “The CMS Project?” and how did it get started?

"CMS” is housing counseling industry jargon for Client Management System, the software housing counselors use to manage the services provided and interactions with their clients. The immediate goal of the CMS project is twofold: to build a new CMS software application, and launch a collaborative new entity that will own and operate the CMS once it has launched. But our vision is bigger than this: to build a sustainable platform that will integrate housing counseling into the homebuying process at scale, streamlining the consumer experience and creating a mechanism to compensate housing counseling agencies for the value they provide.

Several years ago our members came together and identified a need for a better CMS to support their work and demonstrate impact, and we embarked on the first discovery effort to define what the new CMS should look like. In the years since, new initiatives like Framework’s partnerships with Fannie Mae and Wells Fargo have begun to demonstrate the value of homeownership education to lender and investor partners. This paved the way for us to explore how the CMS might serve as a platform to expand the counseling ecosystem.

Recent milestones:

  • Received a $2m contract to fund development of the CMS and $100k to build the new entity– December 31st
  • Signed MOU to form the new entity with four national partners and one member– HomeFree-USA, Minnesota Homeownersip Center, NFCC, National Urban League, and Unidos US – and issued the press release announcing formation of the collaborative – February 28th
  • Completed vendor functionality discovery effort with Salesforce application developer CoreSphere – March 31st

Upcoming milestones:

  • Member update webinars – April 30th  and May 1st
  • Complete Design phase – May 18th
  • Start Development phase – May 21st