Home Buying Workshop
Home Ownership for People Everywhere

Home Buying Workshop


Before you start, learn the right way to buy the home of your Dreams!

This FREE Workshop will be held from 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday June 8, 2024
Workshop Registration and Check -In will be from 7:15 am – 8:00 am
Exhibition Hall will be open 7:15 am – 3:00 pm
Grand Prize drawing 4:00 pm

All participants will receive a Certificate which satisfies the education requirements for a variety of Mortgages and Down payment Assistance Programs in Pinellas, Pasco, Polk & Hillsborough counties. Attendance for the entire Home Buyer Workshop (Parts I and II) is mandatory to receive your Certificate.

PLEASE NOTE: The Certificate that you receive at the end of the Workshop is NOT an approval for Downpayment Assistance or Mortgage Loans. You must still complete an Application and meet the qualifying criteria of the Lender or Assistance Program.

The Workshop will answer questions such as:

First Time Homebuyer Class

During this 8 hour HUD approved class you will learn about the basics of buying your first home and homeownership, including financial management, budgeting, understanding credit, navigating the mortgage process, selecting and inspecting a home, new homeowner responsibilities and more. During the course, you will be able to access members of our homebuying team, including lenders and realtors. You will also be given information regarding available down payment assistance programs and their eligibility requirements. Additionally, you will learn how to schedule a time with a HUD certified housing counselor with will assist you along in your homebuying journey.

Following completion of the class you will receive a Certificate of Completion that is required to be eligible for many of the existing down payment assistance programs.


Roger Rayburn

Roger Rayburn is a HUD Certified Housing Counselor and serves as the Homeownership Center Manager at Tampa Bay Neighborhood Housing Services.  He began his career in the housing industry as a Home Inspector and over the years has served as a Mortgage Loan Originator and a Licensed Realtor.  Roger has been a national trainer with NeighborWorks and was the Curriculum Development Director for National Council of Laraza’s (UNIDOS) National Housing Counselor training program.    Roger is an expert on credit, qualifying for a home loan, and down payment assistance programs.  as a Housing Counselor he has helped hundreds of people, mostly first-time home buyers, achieve their dream of homeownership.

Bella DuPont Rivera

Bella DuPont Rivera is a Housing Counselor at Tampa Bay Neighborhood Housing Services.  She has the distinction of being a Certified Housing Counselor with HUD.  She speaks both Spanish an English Fluently and is equipped to work with Spanish-Speaking Home Buyers.  Bella has been trained on working with home buyers as well as trained on conducting Home Buyer Education classes. Bella will be leading the HOPE Expo classes in Spanish this year.

Cindy Marks

Cindy Marks is a HUD Certified Counselor and Education Facilitator for Neighborhood Home Solutions’ Home Buyer, Foreclosure and Financial Fitness Education Programs designed to ready low-income, first-time or credit risk buyers for home purchase and/or preservation. She has been with our organization for over 25 years as an educator, creating education materials and class-room presentations; and views her role as that of empowering clients to achieve personal financial goals. Cindy approaches education in a connected casual style which generates client confidence. More recently she has expanded into the development and coordination of client intake systems to promote ease of access to our services resulting in increased client utilization and satisfaction. Cindy brings with her strong administrative skills developed during her career in private industry as well as the non-profit sector, coordinating people, materials and equipment in complex, time-sensitive activities. She enhanced her customer service and marketing skills during an eight-year venture into church ministry with two years devoted to international parish renewal. A resident of Saint Petersburg, Cindy, a strong believer in enhancing the lives of others through community service, has been actively involved with various non-profit agencies in the area.

Michael Uzzi, of Neighborhood Home Solutions, is a HUD certified housing counselor who brings several years of experience helping clients in meeting their home ownership goals. He regularly assists in our Home Buyer, Foreclosure and Financial Fitness Education Programs designed to ready low-income, first-time or credit risk buyers for home purchase and/or preservation. An effective communicator with an easy-going style, Michael is a favorite with clients participating in our on-line classes. His unique combination of adaptability and technological ability make him a balanced and effective member of the NHS team. He brings with him a diverse background of working with individuals in all walks of life. Michael is known by his clients as a dedicated and trusted counselor with an affinity to give back to the community.  His continued training and on-going education make him exceptionally responsive to the housing challenges posed by our current market.

Hope Expo

Sean McKenna is a HUD Certified Housing Counselor for Suncoast Housing Connections. He began his career in the housing industry as a Case Manager for Citrus County BOCC. Sean is an expert on USDA 502 Direct Home Loans and has 11 years’ experience in the affordable housing industry. As a Housing Counselor he has assisted hundreds of people become homebuyers.

Hope EXPO English

Esperanza Expo Español