PHFA Podcast Series for Consumers Creates Growing Educational Archive

Podcasts help listeners with homebuying and personal money management questions.

 HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency is expanding its library of informational podcasts intended to help consumers. One, called “Close to Home,” offers practical advice for people in the market to purchase a home. The second, “Master Your Money,” provides insights people can use to better manage their personal finances.

“Amid all the changes to our daily lives due to the COVID-19 virus, PHFA is continuing to bring trustworthy and helpful information to consumers through our podcast series,” said Robin Wiessmann, PHFA executive director and CEO. “The homebuying and personal money management information offered in these podcasts is aimed at helping consumers navigate through complex topics in an easy-to-understand way while also being entertaining.”

The Close to Home series currently includes nine podcasts on such topics as understanding closing costs, homebuyer counseling options, and homebuying readiness. The show’s homebuying expert is Coleen Baumert, PHFA’s director of homeownership. Baumert has worked in the housing field for more than 15 years.

The Master Your Money series has posted 11 podcasts so far. They introduce listeners to the subject of personal money management and cover topics like maximizing your earnings and making your money work for you. The expert speaker for that program is Holly Zugay, PHFA’s financial education officer. Zugay has nearly 20 years of experience in the financial education field, including her current work providing financial education for former inmates and for incarcerated veterans preparing to return to their communities. In 2018, Zugay was selected by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education as its Financial Educator of the Year.

Both podcasts are hosted by PHFA employee Renae Hyson, who works in the agency’s communications division and has a background as a radio DJ. Hyson is a strong advocate for the use of podcasting to educate consumers about housing issues that affect their lives.

“I can relate to the challenges faced by new homebuyers because it wasn’t too long ago I purchased my first home,” said Hyson. “I believe in these podcasts because they educate consumers on critical, life-changing topics but they aren’t stuffy or boring. These podcasts are good because they’re filled with helpful information presented in a fun way, which keeps our listeners engaged in the content.”

New podcast episodes are posted for each program every few weeks. The podcasts generally run less than ten minutes – a length that is convenient for people to fit into their daily schedules. Listeners interested in these podcasts can access them on the agency’s website at Once on the homepage, look for the podcast link at the top-left corner of the screen, under the PHFA logo. Both PHFA podcasts can also be accessed on iTunes, Spotify and other podcast apps by typing “PHFA” in the search engine.