Palestinian Homebuyer Education Program (PHEP)

Funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID), the goal of the PHEP is to improve the ability of Palestinian households to become successful homeowners. This goal is critical to establish a solid foundation for Palestine’s developing housing and mortgage market, as better informed consumers will make better borrowers and more responsible homeowners.

The following objectives will contribute towards achievement of the PHEP goal:

  1. Increase consumer awareness of critical issues related to home ownership;
  2. Improve consumer knowledge of the home buying process, options and financing methods;
  3. Prepare university students and real estate professionals for Palestine’s growing housing market through the introduction of real estate curricula.

Component 1: Increase consumer awareness of critical issues related to home ownership
The PHEP will launch a large-scale consumer awareness campaign targeted to potential new Palestinian homebuyers across the West Bank. Through a series of multi-media approaches (print, television, radio, kiosks), the PHEP will address topics related to home buying and  the homeownership process, focusing on subject areas where lack of consumer knowledge or understanding could result in poor decision-making. Through a series of consumer-friendly, visible and easily accessible methods, the PHEP program will empower consumers to make sound investment and financial decisions related to home ownership by addressing issues such as purchasing registered/unregistered property, the potential pitfalls of developer-provided financing, clauses that consumers should consider including in a real estate purchase contract, and other issues related to the type and quality of housing that consumers may want to consider when making such a major investment decision. The consumer awareness campaign also will focus on wide distribution of simple, consumer-friendly tools that will give consumers first-hand knowledge in making the decision to purchase a home.

Component 2:  Improve consumer knowledge of the home buying process, options and financing methods
PHEP will support Palestinian households to be informed decision-makers when considering the opportunities posed by the availability of newly-constructed affordable housing units, existing housing units, and mortgage finance.  It will do so by increasing understanding of the home buying process; the responsibilities, rewards, and risks of homeownership; and the implications of borrowing for home purchase through a large scale public outreach and homebuyer education initiative, introducing hands-on, adult-learning methods to personal financial management, presenting consumers with prevailing formal and informal practices (such as direct developer financing) in the home purchasing process, and possible pitfalls they may face in the home buying process.

Component 3:  Prepare university students and real estate professionals for Palestine’s growing housing market through the introduction of real estate curricula.
Currently, the ancillary real estate subject areas of appraisal techniques, mortgage origination and underwriting and local property rights are not addressed in Palestine’s higher education curriculum, or if they are addressed, only minimally. Through the PHEP, CHF International will seek to find ways to institutionalize training and education materials in either higher education programs across the West Bank or with professional associations and their training bodies.