Now more than ever, buying a home has never been more complicated and expensive.

That's why leaders in Youngstown hosted a fair housing symposium Wednesday at OG Club, to inform the community on all of the resources available to get them towards home ownership.

Brian Clinkscale, Director of Human Relations for the City of Youngstown, spoke on renting versus owning, skyrocketing rent prices, and tenant's rights in the current housing market.

"This is kind of an opportunity to ask better questions and to be more informed," explained Sophia Buggs.

From high mortgage payments, high upkeep costs, and low credit scores, many hesitate to even believe they can afford to buy a home.

"Maybe those are some of the reasons why we just kind of eschew discussing the ownership of a home," Clinkscale added. "Because our mentality may very well may be, 'Hey, let me just take care of one thing and that is paying the rent."

Clinkscale emphasized working with your bank, mortgage company, and down payment assistance programs.

"Get all of their information to them and let them work with you," he said. 

"I help a lot of people with low credit scores," explained Alisha Conyer, Mortgage Loan Originator with U.S. Bank. "I know that's the biggest issue in our community is the credit score. We will sit down, I will show you how to read a credit report. A lot of people don't know how to read a credit report to this day."

"We're kind of coming together because we're trying to spark and inspire homeowners to be conscious of their neighborhoods," Buggs explained. "And to take pride in where they live and to potentially also help renters to speak up for themselves. We want to help them know their rights."

The crowd was told owning a home could be a better financial decision than renting and it's all about asking the right questions to see if you are eligible.

"There may be a need for a change in attitudes towards home ownership," Clinkscale explained. "To be as a community more positive about home ownership as opposed to renting."

Attendees also received booklets from the Community Legal Aid.