Vice President, National Homeownership Programs
Rodriguez knows what it’s like to be a new homebuyer because she was one. “I was 25 and living in a high-cost area,” she says. “There was absolutely no way I could buy a home without someone holding my hand and walking me through it.’’
The folks holding her hand were from a NeighborWorks network organization that provided counseling and financial assistance to first-time homebuyers. Soon, Rodriguez went to work for the organization that assisted her so that she could help more people in her hometown. Today, she leads the national homeownership effort for the NeighborWorks network, which includes a suite of pre-purchase, mortgage lending, and post-purchase programs and services.
One effort that Rodriguez says really connected her with the organization's mission is the creative partnerships that NeighborWorks has developed with leading financial institutions to enable new homeowners, including Wells Fargo. Launched in 2012, the Neighborhood LIFT program has created more than 6,500 new homeowners through education, counseling and more than $116 million in down-payment assistance.
Rodriguez has been with NeighborWorks for 15 years. In her first position as management consultant in the Rocky Mountain Region, she focused on helping member organizations build their homeownership business capacity.
Prior to joining NeighborWorks, Rodriguez was the director of training and community relations for Neighborhood Housing Services of Santa Fe, now called Homewise - the NeighborWorks network organization that helped her buy her first home. Rodriguez has a Bachelor of Arts in international relations and Spanish from Lake Forest College.