• Fifth Ward CRC

Happy Homeownership Awareness Month!

Meet Fifth Ward CRC's Home-Buying Champion

Sandylane Oquendo isn’t just highly trained and experience in mortgage counseling – she’s personally lived through the difficulties of buying a home.

“My own path to homeownership was very long and very painful. We had prepared for two years to buy our dream home. My husband got laid off the Friday prior to us closing, so we didn’t end up closing,” Sandy recalls. “A year later, we ended up buying another house. And over the years, we’ve been able to make it our home.”

Do you have a question on homeownership for Sandy? Submit your questions HERE.

Today, Sandy leads the Fifth Ward CRC Homeownership team to work with 300 families every year to help them buy a home or prevent foreclosure. The key to the team’s success, Sandy says, "is to build an individualized plan that helps each family get on a path to homeownership that makes sense for them". The most common concern customers come with is on how to make the down payment, and Sandy has helped many families successfully build savings and tap into assistance programs.“When clients start to get impatient, I’m able to sit with them,” Sandy said. “It helps that I can put myself there because I know the process.”


The Home Ownership Promotion & Preservation (HOPP) Team is committed to ensuring the success of homebuyers and homeowners. Our programs are designed to equip clients with the tools to reach a successful outcome. 

Diana Duran, Pre-Purchase Housing Counselor

Diana has over fifteen years of non-profit experience. As a pre-purchase housing counselor, she coordinates and delivers homebuyer education and pre-purchase counseling. Diana also manages disaster financial cases related to Tropical Storm Imelda. Diana can be reached at

Monika Galikova, Post-Purchase Housing Counselor: Monika has recently joined our team and comes with seven years of Housing Counseling experience. Through post purchase counseling, homeowners can navigate issues such as applying for homestead exemption, refinancing existing mortgage loan, understanding homeowner’s insurance, developing a home maintenance plan and preventing foreclosure. Monika will also be working COVID-19 assistance. Monika can be reached at

Sandylane Oquendo, Program Manager: Sandylane is a United States Army Veteran. She has an MBA from Texas A&M University - Central Texas. As a Program Manager she oversees pre and post purchase activities and provides guidance to the housing counselors. Sandy also provides financial coaching to clients who want to increase financial capabilities. Sandy can be reached at

Are you interested in buying a home but need down-payment and closing cost assistance? Let the HOPP Team help you get ready by registering for our workshop today!

For questions and concerns, contact us at:

4300 Lyons Ave #300 Houston, TX 77020, USA (713) 674-0175

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