Home » White House and HUD highlight Newport resident as a “Champion of Change” and leader in housing counseling

White House and HUD highlight Newport resident as a “Champion of Change” and leader in housing counseling

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Feb. 29, 2012) – On Thursday, March 1, in Los Angeles, Calif., the White House and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will honor Stephanie Stiene of Newport, Kentucky as one of eleven housing counselors and HUD-approved organizations being recognized as Champions of Change for their hard work, perseverance and dedication to their communities. Stephanie Stiene has been selected for outstanding commitment and achievement representative of the collective work of thousands of housing counselors across the United States.


“Housing counselors work tremendously hard, each and every day, to help families realize the American dream,” said White House Senior Advisor, Valerie Jarrett. “From helping homeowners avoid foreclosure to making sure tenants understand their rights to working with borrowers to restore their credit, the men and women we honor today truly are Champions of Change.


”From serving on the front lines of the battle against foreclosure since the housing crisis began, to assisting homeowners and tenants to improve their housing conditions, we owe a debt of gratitude to skilled, objective and knowledgeable housing counselors.” said HUD Southeast Regional Administrator Ed Jennings, Jr.


The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.


Housing counseling assistance was developed over 40 years ago at a time of severe disinvestment in housing, unaffordable interest rates, high unemployment and irresponsible lending practices. Today, HUD approves, monitors and supports counseling organizations and tracks their output.  Recent initiatives have extended the number and location of HUD-approved housing counseling organizations and reduced the amount of time and complexity of the process to award HUD housing counseling grants.


To learn more about the Champions and watch video of the event, go to www.whitehouse.gov/champions.


Stephanie Stiene serves as Director of Financial Services, a department of Brighton Center, Inc., a northern Kentucky private social services agency that offers opportunities for individuals and families to reach self-sufficiency. Over 10 years, Stephanie led Financial Services to develop a full continuum of financial service programs, including Foreclosure Prevention, Homeownership, Reverse Mortgage Counseling, Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), and Budget and Credit Counseling, and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) site services. Stephanie has engaged banking, lending, insurance, and many local business leaders and volunteers to serve over 2,000 individuals in 2011. Stephanie is passionate about financial education that empowers families to improve their lives.