|HUD No. 07-006
(404) 331-5001 ext. 2008
October 4, 2007
BUSH ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $44.1 MILLION IN HOUSING COUNSELING GRANTS TO NEARLY 400 NATIONAL, STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES
Mississippi awarded more than $500,000
JACKSON - Approximately 700,000 families will have a greater opportunity to find housing or keep the homes they have because of more than $44 million in housing counseling and counseling training grants announced today by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson.
The state of Mississippi was awarded a total of $505,706 in grants. For a detailed local summary of the projects awarded funding, visit HUD's website.
Housing counseling grants will assist families in becoming first-time homeowners and remaining homeowners after
their purchase. Renters and homeless individuals and families will also benefit from the counseling offered by the grants. These grants, totaling over $41 million, were awarded to 19 national and regional organizations and nearly
370 state and local housing counseling agencies.
Housing counseling training grants will help approximately 2,600 counselors receive the instruction and certification necessary to effectively assist families with their housing needs. These grants, totaling $3 million, were awarded to two national organizations.
"This Administration strongly believes in the value of housing counseling services," said Jackson. "These
organizations help families make informed choices before they take the important step of homeownership. They also provide a service that is vital in today's mortgage market – they counsel families facing foreclosure and advise them about their options."
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.
Of the more than $41 million in housing counseling grants, $3 million is being awarded in supplemental funding for
Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counseling. These funds 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 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 on the rise 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.
HUD is the nation's housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities; 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
For further information, contact Cassandra Terry at (601) 608-1700.
Note to editors:
- State-by-state breakdown of grant recipients is available on the HUD website.
- Detailed individual grant summaries are available on the HUD website.
Housing Education and Economic Development, Inc.
$50,000.00 - Comprehensive Counseling
Housing Education and Economic Development, Inc. (HEED) is a non-profit organization that has been providing comprehensive counseling in Mississippi for 18 years. Individuals and families are helped through HEED's counseling service to improve their housing conditions and meet the responsibilities of tenancy and homeownership. HEED
assists minorities and handicapped persons to prevent and deal with housing discrimination. HEED's counselors' help borrowers avoid inflated appraisals, unreasonably high interest rates, unaffordable repayment terms, and other conditions that can result in a loss of equity, increased debt, default and eventually foreclosure. HEED also provides Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counseling to elderly homeowners seeking to convert equity in their
homes into income that can be used to pay for home improvements, medical costs, living expenses, or other expenses. Last year HEED counseled 719 individuals and families.
Mississippi Home Corporation
$126,416.25 - Comprehensive Counseling
Mississippi Home Corporation (MHC) is a public-purpose corporation created by the State of Mississippi to help
provide affordable housing in the State. As the State Housing finance Agency (SHFA), MHC offers low interest mortgages funded by Mortgage Revenue Bonds and Mortgage Credit Certificates that lower the homebuyer's federal tax liability and offers low-interest loans for down payment and closing costs. MHC also offers mortgage financing
to help individuals with weak credit become homeowners while improving their credit. MHC operates the Mississippi Affordable Housing Development Fund, created by the State of Mississippi, which assists in financing site development, construction and mortgages on single and multi-family properties for individuals with low-and
Mississippi Homebuyer Education Center – Mississippi Housing Initiative (MHI)
$302,059 – Comprehensive Counseling
Established in 1996, Mississippi Homebuyer Education Center – Mississippi Housing Initiative (MHI) earned its
nonprofit status in 2001 and become a statewide HUD-certified housing counseling agency in 2003. MHI is now a
HUD-approved regional intermediary that works to achieve objectives including expanding homeownership opportunities, improving access to affordable housing, and preserving homeownership. MHI has 19 subgrantees located in a 5-state region.
Sacred Heart Southern Missions Housing Corporation
$27,230.82 - Comprehensive Counseling
Sacred Heart Southern Missions Housing Corporation (SHSMHC) is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1994 by
Sacred Heart Southern Missions in response to a critical need for affordable housing options in the nine northern counties of Mississippi. In addition to owning and managing 38 affordable housing units in Walls, the Housing Corporation offers HUD certified counseling to clients throughout the area. Sacred Heart Southern Missions Housing Corporation has helped countless low and very low income Mississippians work towards the goal of homeownership
and stability. Through credit counseling, housing education, predatory lending counseling and low-income housing opportunities, SHSMHC has had significant impact on the people of Northern Mississippi for almost fifteen years.
During the past year, 113 families and individuals benefited from housing counseling at SHSMHC.