Scaling Practitioner-driven Innovation

Housing Partnership Network (HPN) member, the Minnesota Homeownership Center (the Center) is the creator of a nationally recognized homebuyer education curriculum, Home Stretch. HPN has been a homeownership counseling intermediary since its start, helping scores of its members across the country deliver in-person advising and education to their communities. These two organizations came together formally in 2012 to bring a new resource to first-time homebuyers, a virtual product that gave busy people access to the same quality education that the Center had been delivering in-person for years.

This partnership allowed both organizations to expand their reach and impact through this groundbreaking product. The Center brought its time-tested, high-quality curricula together with HPN’s national scope (and membership), expertise and successful track record in business incubation to form a compelling partnership. More importantly, we share a common mission to advance affordable, and accessible homeownership as a strategy to address our country’s racial wealth gap. Initially, this joint venture launched as a 50/50 partnership.

The Center contributed its intellectual property through its curriculum, and, using philanthropic support from several financial institutions, HPN contributed $500k to capitalize what became Framework Homeownership (Framework).

Early Growth and Impact

During its first several years, Framework was operationally managed cooperatively between the two owners. HPN supplied its accounting, human resources, IT, and facilities support while the Center provided its subject matter expertise in curriculum and user interface design while also managing customer support for Framework users. Initially conceived to serve HPN member counseling agencies through a business-to-business model, in 2015 Fannie Mae selected Framework as its exclusive first-time homebuyer education platform. This arrangement helped establish Framework’s prominence nationally and expand its reach to hundreds of thousands of individual homebuyers (business-to-consumer model) and thousands of market-based home mortgage lenders. It also helped Framework earn significant revenues to sustain and expand the business, while sharing profits with both HPN and the Center.

Refocusing Our Purpose

In 2020, Fannie Mae decided to create its own homebuyer education platform and ended its partnership with Framework. This prompted the Center and HPN to initiate a necessary evolution of the business model that would ensure both its ongoing sustainability and positive impact on homeownership. For example, today it is Framework’s explicit mission to acknowledge and confront structural and persistent barriers of systemic racism that historically kept people of color from the benefits of homeownership. In addition to continuing to strengthen its core homebuyer education platform, Framework is now developing resources to help existing homeowners remain sustainably housed post-purchase. And, the Framework team has established and is growing an expansive network of strategic partners, including Realtors® and mortgage lenders, to bring a full suite of resources to its customers.

In early 2023, HPN and the center announced that HPN will become the 100% owner of Framework. The partnership to create this platform has been tremendous, and HPN looks forward to building on this legacy. To date, Framework has helped over 1.4M+ homebuyers buy their first homes, and we are just getting started.

"CHN has been a proud partner of Framework since its start and has had an opportunity to collaborate with Framework in meaningful ways, beyond simply promoting the product to our clients. We believe in the mission of Framework and are looking forward to this next chapter."

Kevin Nowak Executive Director, CHN Housing Partners