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October 14, 2009
HUD ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $80,000 IN HOUSING COUNSELING GRANTS TO HELP IDAHO FAMILIES "SECURE THEIR FUTURES"
Idaho grants expected to serve some 3,400 families to buy homes or avoid foreclosure
BOISE - Idaho families facing foreclosure, seeking affordable rental housing, or hoping to buy their first home will
have a greater opportunity to find housing, or keep the homes they have, because of $83,365 in housing counseling grants announced today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
The Idaho Housing and Finance Association will receive $63,364 to serve a projected 2,900 families and the Community Action Partnership in Lewiston will receive $20,000 to serve a projected 535 families and help them "navigate" the homebuying and homeowning processes (See grant summaries below).
"Now, more than ever, it is crucial that Americans understand how to manage their money, navigate the
homebuying process, and secure their financial future." said Donovan. "This critical funding will help counseling organizations continue to assist families in making more informed choices before they buy a home and counsel
families facing foreclosure."
Housing counseling grants will assist families in becoming first-time homeowners and remaining homeowners after
their purchase. HUD-approved counseling agencies not only provide homeownership counseling, but also offer
financial literacy training to renters and homeless individuals and families.
The funding announced today is part of $60 million in housing counseling grants awarded nationwide. These grants
will support the direct provision of housing counseling services by 24 national and regional organizations, 5 multi-
state organizations, and 463 state and local housing counseling agencies. In addition, HUD is awarding $5 million to three national organizations to train approximately 4,400 counselors who will receive the instruction and
certification necessary to effectively assist families with their housing needs.
National and regional agencies distribute much of HUD's housing counseling grant funding to community-based grassroots organizations that provide advice and guidance to low- and moderate-income families seeking to improve their housing conditions. In addition, these larger organizations help improve the quality of housing counseling
services and enhance coordination among other counseling providers.
Counseling agencies will use $8 million to help assist senior citizens seeking reverse mortgages or Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM). These agencies will provide counseling for the rapidly growing number of elderly homeowners who seek to convert equity in their homes into income that can be used to pay for home
improvements, medical costs, and other living expenses.
The organizations that provide housing counseling services help people become or remain homeowners or find rental housing, and assist homeless persons in finding the transitional housing they need to move toward a permanent
place to live. Grant recipients also help homebuyers and homeowners realistically evaluate their readiness for a
home purchase, understand their financing and downpayment options, and navigate what can be an extremely confusing and difficult process.
In addition, grantees help combat predatory lending by helping unwary borrowers review their loan documentation, and avoid unreasonably high interest rates, inflated appraisals, unaffordable repayment terms, and other conditions that can result in a loss of equity, increased debt, default, and even foreclosure. Likewise, foreclosure prevention counseling helps homeowners facing delinquency or default employ strategies, including expense reduction, negotiation with lenders and loan servicers, and loss mitigation, to avoid foreclosure. With foreclosures at critical levels nationwide, these services are more important than ever.
HUD awards annual grants under the housing counseling program through a competitive process. Organizations that apply for grants must be HUD-approved and are subject to biennial performance reviews to maintain their HUD-approved status.
Idaho Housing and Finance Association
Idaho Housing and Finance Association (IHFA) have a 35 year history in assisting Idaho families and individuals.
Their mission is to provide funding for affordable housing opportunities in Idaho communities, administer federal
rental assistance in most counties, lead Idaho's Homeless Coordination Network, and operate a clearinghouse of housing information through the Idaho Housing Hotline. The HUD grant will enable IHFA, through its sub-grantee,
Idaho Partners for Home Buyer Education (IPHBE, Inc.) to provide pre and post-purchase, default, rental
delinquency, homeless prevention, reverse mortgage (HECM) one-on-one counseling and homebuyer group
education classes. IHFA's eight affiliates will host the group homebuyer education classes for first-time, low-to-moderate income homebuyers. Services are offered free to any Idaho resident. IHFA projects to serve
approximately 2,900 clients.
Community Action Partnership
Community Action Partnership (CAP) provides comprehensive housing counseling services to individuals and
conducts educational workshops for groups in North Central and North Idaho as well as Asotin County in
Washington. CAP plans to provide homebuyer education seminars, foreclosure mitigation programs and individual counseling to their clients. They will continue to provide free services in pre-purchase, post-purchase, reverse mortgage, mortgage default, renter rights, and homeless counseling. CAP proposes to serve 535 clients during
FY2010 with its housing counseling grant.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to sustaining homeownership; creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov.