New Housing Counseling Grants To Help Families With Home Decisions

Jerry Ashworth
October 9, 2019 at 08:17:35 ET
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There are numerous types of counselors across the country, ranging from guidance counselors at schools to legal counselors to nutrition counselors. But were you aware that there were housing counselors, and that the federal government provides millions of dollars in grant funds for these organizations to help needy families and individuals make decisions on finding homes or to learn how to avoid foreclosure to keep their current homes?

Last week, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $42.8 million in federal fiscal year (FY) 2019 housing counseling grants to assist families and individuals make more informed housing choices. These grants will support the housing counseling services provided by 207 HUD-approved local housing counseling agencies, national and regional organizations, and state housing finance agencies.

The awarded recipients provide services to address a full range of housing counseling needs, including assisting homebuyers in evaluating their readiness for a home purchase and navigating through the homebuying process. The organizations also help households find affordable rental housing, offer financial literacy training to individuals and families, and provide foreclosure prevention counseling to help homeowners facing delinquency or default to understand their options for avoiding foreclosure. In addition to providing counseling to homeowners and renters, these organizations assist homeless persons in finding transitional housing and help seniors determine whether a reverse mortgage makes sense for them.

To bring this issue closer to, well, home, I noticed that two of the recipients are from communities of special interest to me. One recipient is located in Griffin, Ga., where I lived during my childhood. Affordable Housing Enterprises Inc. received $16,133 for comprehensive counseling. The organization researches and develops programs that are geared specifically for low- to moderate-income families and individuals to include down payment assistance, layering programs that serve to decrease mortgage amounts, set aside programs and special need housing programs.

Another recipient is in Alexandria, Va., where I currently live. Catholic Charities USA received $936,211 for comprehensive counseling. This organization is the national office for the Catholic Charities network of 167 main agencies and more than 3,450 branches and affiliate institutions nationwide. It provides vital social services to people in need such as day care and counseling on food and housing. To see the full list of recipients for FY 2019 awards, go here.

Finding a home, or keeping your current home, can be an trying experience for those in need and we applaud the work done by these housing counseling organizations.

Join us for our following Federal Grants Forums:
Federal Grants Forum: Dallas, TX | October 16 – 18, 2019
Federal Grants Forum: Charleston, SC | February 5 – 7, 2020
Federal Grants Forum: Portland, OR | May 13 – 15, 2020
Federal Grants Forum: Chicago, IL | August 12 – 14, 2020
Federal Grants Forum: Denver, CO | October 7 – 9, 2020

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