Housing Expo Offers Aid and Information for Would-Be Home-Buyers

The Tri-Valley Housing Opportunity Center - a new organization sponsored by the cities of Pleasanton, Livermore, Dublin, San Ramon, and Danville and Alameda and Contra Costa counties - is celebrating the creation of their new organization by holding a Housing Expo on Saturday, June 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the CarrAmerica Conference Center at 4400 Rosewood Drive in Hacienda.

The event will feature information that will help anyone interested in purchasing a home, from first-time buyer to those "trading up."

"The event is for people looking at the housing market in general," says Milly Seibel, TVHOC spokesperson and part of the City of Livermore's Housing and Human Services Division. "There's going to be an opportunity for persons to learn about credit counseling, financial opportunities from different lenders who will be there, as well as fair housing advocates, non-profit builders, non-profit service providers, banks, and a whole group of vendors who specialize in housing products. We will even have vendors on site who will talk about tenant/landlord issues. There are going to be a lot of different topics covered."

The BayEast Association of Realtors, one of the sponsors of the event, will provide information on the local housing market, including valuable details such as where to find available housing for those in different income brackets.

In addition to vendor booths and displays, a series of workshops will be held in both English and Spanish entitled "Credit and Debt Counseling" and "The Fundamentals of Buying a Home." These workshops will be offered from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and repeated again from 1:00 to 2:15 p.m. Childcare will also be offered for those who pre-register at (925) 960-4580.

The Expo will be the first event sponsored by the TVHOC but the group is planning to hold regular workshops once their downtown Livermore offices open in July. Additional satellite offices will serve each city in the area. A search for an executive director is underway and the group's menu of ongoing services is already taking shape.

"We're looking at serving a few different groups - the low-income wage earner as well as people who are relocating to the area, like people whose job transfers them here and aren't familiar with the Tri-Valley," says Seibel. "They can come to the center and learn about the market here. 'I'm looking for this kind of house. How would I go about finding it?' We'll be a resource to a lot of different groups."

Seibel adds that they are already available to assist in these areas. "If you need these services now, don't wait until June to get them. We can act as a referral service right now."

To contact the TVHOC or to register for the Housing Expo, call the City of Livermore Housing and Human Services Division at (925) 960-4580. Online registration is available for the Expo at the City of Danville's web site at www.ci.danville.ca.us .

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