|HUD No. 06-122
Yvonne Leander (901) 544-3403
William Dirl (615) 736-7000, ext. 7120
Mark Brezina (865) 545-4400 ext. 105
September 26, 2006
BUSH ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $39.1 MILLION IN HOUSING COUNSELING GRANTS TO MORE THAN 400 STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES
Tennessee to receive $1,246,973 for Housing Counseling
MEMPHIS - Approximately 850,000 families will have a greater opportunity to find housing or keep the homes they have because of more than $39 million in housing counseling grants announced today by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson.
These grants will assist families in becoming first-time homeowners or remaining homeowners after their purchase. Renters and homeless individuals and families will also benefit from the counseling offered by the grants. Grants were awarded to 17 national and regional organizations and more than 400 state and local housing counseling agencies.
"Under the Bush Administration, more families are receiving housing counseling services than ever before, and more
are purchasing and keeping their homes," said Jackson. "The organizations providing these services are helping to meet the President's goal of increasing homeownership opportunities, particularly for minorities."
National and regional agencies distribute much of the HUD 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 $39 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. Grant recipients 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. Grantees also 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. Moreover, HUD-funded housing counseling agencies assist homeless persons to find the transitional housing they need to move toward a permanent place to live.
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
Note to editors: State-by-state breakdown of grant recipients is available on the HUD website.
Detailed individual grant summaries for Tennessee in alphabetical order follows:
Clinch-Powell Resource Conservation and Development Area
$30,815 - Comprehensive Counseling
Clinch-Powell Resource Conservation and Development Council (RC & D) is a community-based development organization that serves five rural Appalachian counties in East Tennessee. In its fifteen years of existence, the organization has fostered leadership and worked to build strong, healthy communities in Claiborne, Grainger,
Hancock, Hawkins and Union Counties through economies services and leadership development. Through programs offered such as loss mitigation, pre-purchase, post-purchase, and delinquency counseling, the Clinch-Powell
Resource Conservation and Development Area has assisted over 72 clients, in which 6 received lost mitigation, and delinquency counseling.
Financial Counselors of America, Inc.
$24,807 - Comprehensive Counseling
Financial Counseling of America Inc. (FCA) is a nonprofit organization based in Memphis, Tennessee. They have been assisting clients in Memphis and Shelby County with housing and credit needs for over fifteen years. Through our ongoing work and development of partnership with community groups, schools, churches, and political contacts we aim to increase homeownership, increase awareness of rental rights, provide consumer financial education, and be a referral source for housing. They offer pre-purchase counseling, homebuyer education, post-purchase, predatory lending, and post-purchase counseling. During the previous 2004-2005 fiscal year, the FCA assisted 98 clients. Of these participants, 22 became mortgage ready, and 4 purchased their first home.
GAP Community Development Resources, Inc.
$45,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
GAP Community Development Resources, Inc. (GAPCDR) originated from a local church ministry (1999) providing general information on money management and home buying concepts through workshops and classes. GAPCDR partnered with the Williamson County Habitat for Humanity to teach budgeting basics (2002-2003). By December 2003, in response to the limited and in some cases unmet needs of homebuyer counseling GAPCDR began the
process of establishing itself as a faith based, nonprofit organization to serve its population in Williamson County. GAPCDR was granted 501c (3) status in February 2005; June 2005 approved as a trainer agency under the
Tennessee Home Buyer Education initiative of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) to provide homebuyer education services to those of the community in need. During the previous fiscal year, 15 individuals
were counseled on their housing counseling needs.
Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, Inc./CCCS of Chattanooga
$20,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Chattanooga (CCCS) is a division of the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, Inc. CCCS of Chattanooga service is HUD certified and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Since its inception in 1981, Consumer Credit Counseling Services has helped numerous consumers by educating and empowering individuals and families in the area of finance. CCCS offers budget counseling, voluntary debt management, educational seminars, bankruptcy counseling, as well as housing counseling and post-purchase counseling, delinquency, rental counseling, and HECM counseling services. Fifty one percent of clients who frequent our services have an identifiable housing issue that must be dealt with in an expedient manner. During fiscal year 2004-2005, CCCS of Chattanooga was able to assist over 434 clients with their immediate housing issues.
Vollintine Evergreen Community Association CDC
$21,202 - Comprehensive Counseling
Founded in 1971, The Vollintine Evergreen Community Association (VECA) as a 501(c) 4 corporation. VECA
Community Development Corporation (CDC) was founded in late 1994 as a 501(c) 3. The CDC was a long time dream of several neighborhood leaders. A community housing development Organization (CHDO) has also been formed to work closely with the CDC and it's housing committee. VECA's mission is to preserve and enhance a diverse inclusive stable historic urban neighborhood through the support of its volunteers. VECA CDC, as a business arm of the association, works to maintain and enhance the economic and physical wellbeing of the neighborhood. Goals specific to the program include: increasing homeownership, reducing dilapidated housing, and improving conditions of the neighborhood at the block level. Two Hundred and Six clients were assisted through the counsel of the Vollintine Evergreen Community Association CDC during the previous 2004-2005 HUD fiscal year.
West Tennessee Legal Services
$1,073,133 - Comprehensive Counseling
West Tennessee Legal Services (WTLS) is a private nonprofit organization affiliated with Legal Services Corporation and a HUD-approved regional housing counseling intermediary. In collaboration with 20 local nonprofit affiliates in 9 states, WTLS provides clients with uniform access to housing counseling and educational services in underserved
rural areas and those areas most affected by Hurricane Katrina. Affiliates provide comprehensive housing counseling programs including pre-purchase counseling, first-time home buyer education, HECM counseling, mortgage default counseling, landlord/tenant counseling, and predatory lending counseling with the goal of promoting and ensuring equal housing rights and opportunities for all individuals residing within these areas.
Woodbine Community Organization
$32,016 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Woodbine Community Organization (WCO) is a nonprofit community based organization providing a vast array of social services. The organization, which has a history dating as far back as the 1930s, was incorporated in 1985. In 1989, it opened the Woodbine Community Center. Through both self-contained programs, as well as programs provided through collaborations with other agencies, the center offers a variety of services and activities and serves over 5000 citizens. In addition to these services, WCO is a nonprofit housing developer, having developed over 125 single-family homes. WCO also owns and operates 148 rental properties. WCO is a HUD approved housing counseling agency providing a variety of housing counseling services. During the previous 2004-2005 HUD fiscal year, WCO provided assistance to some 1,627 clients.