HUD No. 06-122
September 25, 2006
BUSH ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $39.1 MILLION IN HOUSING COUNSELING GRANTS TO MORE THAN 400 STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES
WASHINGTON ? 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 and espanol.hud.gov.
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.|