People on the Move – Independence Housing Group, LLC

Local entrepreneur and County native W. Dudley Dixon Jr. has been named an Innovator of the Year by The Daily Record for his efforts in founding and building Independence Housing Group, LLC.

Independence Housing Group was founded by Mr. Dixon in 2008 to address the real, and sometimes dire, needs of the many older Americans living in sub-standard homes without the resources to improve their living conditions. His goal was to create a program that would allow senior Americans to live independently as they desire to do, and to do so with dignity on the land that they called home.

While discussing the challenge with his father, W. Dudley Dixon Sr. who has 40 years of experience in the title and mortgage business, the two men developed this unique concept. Independence Housing Group funds all of the development and construction costs for a new home, or for the renovation of the senior’s existing home, for any qualifying senior age 62 or older. Independence Housing performs all of the work required, including:

  • ·         Title work
  • ·         Bridge funding
  • ·         Helping the senior secure a federally insured reverse mortgage
  • ·         Coordinating all required FHA counseling for the customer
  • ·         All permitting
  • ·         Paying off any small liens, if necessary
  • ·         All site work and construction
  • ·         Settlement coordination

Once the new or renovated home is permitted and built, the new home and property become the security/collateral so that the senior can secure a federally insured reverse mortgage. The reverse mortgage repays Independence Housing Group, and any additional money is made available to the senior at any time during his or her remaining years in the home.

“Before Independence Housing was created, our low to moderate income senior customers often could not qualify for this federally insured loan program that was created especially to help them,” explains Jan Miles, Director of Reverse Mortgages for Jacob Dean Mortgage, Inc. “In many cases, the cost of the repair exceeded the 15% government limit, and the senior homeowners could not afford to make the repairs needed to qualify for the reverse. It was a catch-22 that left these seniors with no options.”

The program created by Independence Housing Group provides low to moderate income seniors in need with a safe, comfortable home for the rest of their lives with no out-of-pocket costs and no monthly mortgage or rent payments. When the senior passes away, the family or heirs inherit a property of much greater value that they can sell, or they can choose to refinance the home and live in it themselves.

The Innovator of the Year Award was created in 2002 to honor Maryland businesses and/or individuals who have had a positive effect and tremendous impact in Maryland., The program is based on the belief that innovators are people with vision who have the ability to see a need and fill it, with the courage to make change and the stamina to await the results.

Mr. Dixon is a third generation Anne Arundel County resident, currently living in Severna Park. He is a graduate of Severn School and Johns Hopkins University. Mr. Dixon will receive this honor at the awards dinner on Thursday, October 21, 2010, at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.

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