HUD Archives: News Releases

Hollis Wormsby
(205) 731-2630 ext. 1129
For Release
November 13, 2003

An estimated 730,000 individuals and families to benefit from housing counseling - Alabama receives $522,444

BIRMINGHAM - Nearly 730,000 individuals and families will have a greater opportunity to find housing or keep the homes they have because of more than $37 million in housing counseling grants announced today by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez. Alabama receives $522,444. See attached chart for Alabama grant recipients.

It is estimated these grants will assist more than 430,000 people to either become first-time homeowners or remain homeowners after their purchase. The grants were awarded to 17 national and regional organizations and approximately 350 state and local housing counseling agencies. These organizations will provide counseling services and will help meet the Bush Administration's goal of increasing minority homeownership by 5.5 million families by the end of the decade.

"These housing counseling grants are an important part of this Administration's goal to expand homeownership opportunities, particularly for minorities," said Martinez. "President Bush and I are committed to opening the doors
to the American Dream to more American families."

The 17 national and regional agencies distribute much of the HUD funding to community-based grassroots organizations that provide free 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. Notably, 3 of the 17 intermediaries are faith-based, including 2 that are first time housing counseling grant recipients.

Of the $37.561 million in grants, $2.7 million is being awarded specifically to combat predatory lending, including awards to 4 national and regional intermediaries and 34 state and local organizations. Grantees will assist unwary borrowers in avoiding 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.

Additionally, $2 million is being awarded specifically for counseling in conjunction with HUD's Section 8 Homeownership Voucher Program, which allows low-income individuals to use rental vouchers to purchase homes. Awards under this category are made to 4 national intermediaries and 35 state and local agencies. These grant recipients will help program participants realistically evaluate their readiness for a home purchase, understand their financing and down-payment options, and navigate what can be an extremely confusing and risky process.

President Bush is proposing to increase HUD's Housing Counseling grant program to $45 million next year - a 12.5 percent increase. The organizations that provide counseling services help people become or remain homeowners or find rental housing. In addition, HUD-funded housing counseling agencies assist homeless persons to find the transitional housing they need to move toward a permanent place to live.

Who benefits from housing counseling?

Based on past experience, HUD anticipates the counseling grants announced today will enable approximately 257,000 would-be homeowners to learn how to improve their credit, strengthen money management skills and avoid predatory lenders and other unscrupulous practices. Another 175,000 existing homeowners will learn how to avoid delinquency and default, restructure debt and maintain their home. In addition, nearly 213,000 individuals and families who will receive HUD-funded counseling are renters. Counseling services will help them find housing closer to their jobs or health care as well as teach them about tenant rights. Finally, an estimated 16,000 homeless individuals and families will learn how to find emergency services and secure transitional housing.

HUD awards annual grants under this program through a competitive process. Organizations that apply for grants
must be HUD-approved and are subject to biannual 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, supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as
enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.


Note to editors: A summary of Alabama grant recipients follows.

The following key corresponds to grant type:

CC = Comprehensive Housing Counseling
PL = Predatory Lending
S8 = Counseling in conjunction with HUD's Section 8 Homeownership Voucher Program
CO = Colonias

State Total:

Alabama Council on Human Relations, Inc.
Auburn, AL
$18,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Alabama Council on Human Relations, Inc. (ACHR) provides housing counseling for residents in the counties of Russell and Lee. ACHR was founded in 1954 and has been a certified housing counseling agency since 1994. ACHR assists low-income tenants, first-time homebuyers, homeowners, and senior citizens with information, advice and guidance. Types of housing counseling offered by ACHR includes: pre-purchase, rental education, mortgage default, rental delinquency, home equity conversion, financial management, property maintenance, fair housing rights, displacement and relocation to transitional, and permanent housing. If necessary, in-home counseling sessions are scheduled and transportation is provided for clients to meetings. During fiscal year 2002, ACHR successfully
counseled fifty-one (51) clients with issues pertaining to housing. Plans are to expand the number of clients served
to sixty-five (65).

Community Action Partnership, Huntsville/Madison & Limestone Counties, Inc.
Huntsville, AL
$41,228 - Comprehensive Counseling
Community Action Partnership, Huntsville/Madison & Limestone Counties, Inc. (CAP) provides housing counseling services to the citizens of the City of Huntsville, Madison and Limestone counties. Some of the services provided include pre-rental, rental delinquency, pre-purchase, mortgage default counseling, home equity conversion
mortgages (HECM) and energy conservation. During fiscal year 2002, CAP successfully counseled 208 clients with issues pertaining to housing. Of nineteen (19) potential mortgagors counseled, six (6) purchased housing. Post-Purchase Mortgage Default and Rental Delinquency Counseling will be expanded to include victims of Predatory Lending.

The Housing Authority of the City of Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery, AL
$40,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Housing Authority of the City of Montgomery incorporated on June 22, 1937. They assist residents and homeowners of Montgomery, Macon, Autauga, and Elmore Counties. At present time, the Housing Authority provides housing assistance to approximately 12,500 residents. As an indication of their management capacity, the annual audit for the fiscal year 2001 indicated no findings nor unresolved findings. Comprehensive Housing Counseling
services have been offered since 1981. Counseling services include mortgage default, pre-occupancy, rental delinquency, post occupancy, displacement and relocation, home improvement/rehabilitation, home ownership seminars and home equity conversion mortgage. During fiscal year 2002, the agency successfully counseled 187 individuals with issues pertaining to housing.

Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc.
Tuscaloosa, AL
$34,887 - Comprehensive Counseling
Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc. (CSP) services the residents of Tuscaloosa, Bibb, Hale, Greene, Fayette and Lamar counties in Western Alabama. CSP was created by the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Their mission is to help alleviate problems associated with poverty in the community. Community Service Programs
currently operates forty-five (45) programs in their six (6) county service area. These programs include Head Start, Home Repair and Weatherization, Affordable Housing and Meals on Wheels. Counseling clients have been
predominantly Renters. However, of the two (2) prospective Home Buyers counseled in the past year, one (1) purchased a home. Without a grant, CSP counseled fifty-two (52) clients last year. Their plans are to expand to
a full range of counseling activities and to service one hundred fifty (150) clients in the coming year.

The Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity
Birmingham, AL
$40,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity (JCCEO) provides services for clients in the city of Birmingham and Jefferson County. JCCEO counseled 93 clients in fiscal year 2002. Counseling services provided are: Homebuyer counseling workshops, mortgage default & delinquency, Tenant & Landlord Advocacy, HECM, and Fair Housing Laws. Six individuals received pre-purchase counseling with two purchasing homes, four are working towards becoming mortgage ready. Seventy-one individuals successfully avoided foreclosure. Other programs operated by JCCEO are: Child Development Services through Head Start, Home Weatherization, Energy assistance, Emergency assistance, Substance abuse program, Senior Nutrition Centers, and a Adult Day Health Care Center.

Community Action Agency of Northwest Alabama, Inc.
Florence, AL
$15,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
$15,000 - Section 8 Homeownership Voucher - Housing Counseling
The Community Action Agency of Northwest Alabama has been a certified housing counseling agency for over
twenty-four years, serving the counties of Franklin, Lauderdale and Colbert Counties. The goal of the agency is to provide customers with information and strategies that will result in adequate housing, homeownership, and self-sufficiency. Counseling services include: pre-purchase, pre-rental, fair housing and fair lending laws, mortgage
default and rental delinquency, post occupancy, emergency shelter for the homeless, and transitional housing. In order to assist the growing Hispanic population, counseling services are available in Spanish. Community Action Agency successfully counseled 551 clients during fiscal year 2002. As a result of mortgage counseling, forty-two individuals were assisted in bringing their mortgage current. Ten individuals received a forbearance agreement. Three individuals received reverse mortgage counseling, and two purchased a mortgage. The agency counseled 365 clients that were facing tenancy problems. Through partnerships in the community, the counselors assist in providing permanent shelter.

Housing Authority of the Birmingham District
Birmingham, AL
$44,832 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Housing Authority of the Birmingham District (HABD) has been a HUD Approved housing counseling agency since 1981. In addition to providing housing counseling services to the City of Birmingham, HABD also provides services
to a three county area, which includes Jefferson, Shelby, and Walker Counties. HABD provides housing counseling services under the following areas: pre-rental, rental delinquency, pre-purchase, HECM, mortgage default, first time homebuyer, and budgeting/money management. During fiscal year 2002, HABD successfully counseled 167 clients
with housing related issues.

Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, Inc.
Decatur, AL
$77,979 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Community Action Partnership of North Alabama, Inc. formerly known as Community Action & Community Development Agency of North Alabama, is a private, nonprofit agency incorporated in 1965, and was certified as a HUD housing counseling agency in 1979. The agency provides a variety of counseling services to clients in Morgan, Lawrence, and Cullman counties in North Alabama. Counseling services include pre-rental, pre-purchase, mortgage delinquency and default, rent delinquency, post occupancy, displacement and relocation, home improvement/rehabilitation, money management, HECM and many other services. During fiscal year 2002, the
agency successfully counseled 593 clients.

Organized Community Action Program, Inc.
Troy, AL
$30,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Organized Community Action Program, Inc. (OCAP) is a private non-profit organization founded in 1966. OCAP serves the rural counties of Bullock, Butler, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Lowndes, and Pike in the southern part of Alabama. OCAP has participated in HUD's Housing Counseling Program for the past eight years as a certified HUD Housing Counseling Agency. Housing counseling services offered by OCAP include: HECM (home equity conversion mortgage), default, pre-purchase, post purchase counseling, home improvement and rehabilitation counseling, and displacement and relocation counseling. Other programs offered by OCAP besides the housing counseling are: Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Weatherization, Emergency Food and Shelter. During fiscal year 2002,
the agency successfully counseled 51 individuals with issues pertaining to housing.

Mobile Housing Board
Mobile, AL
$48,147 - Comprehensive Counseling
$45, 798 - Section 8 Homeownership Voucher - Housing Counseling
$40,000 - Predatory Lending
The Mobile Housing Board (MHB) is a nonprofit public housing agency providing a full range of services to the
residents of Mobile, Monroe, Baldwin, Clark, Washington and Escambia. The agency has been a HUD award recipient over 22 years, and has been awarded a grant for the past 14 years. The agency provides housing counseling
services including pre-occupancy, pre-purchase, pre-rental, rental delinquencies, mortgage default, post-occupancy, home improvement and rehabilitation, energy conservation, home equity conversion mortgage and housing consumer education. During fiscal year 2002, MHB successfully counseled 118 individuals with issues pertaining to housing. Additionally this agency will provide predatory lending outreach activities to at least 400 persons and one-on-one training for 100 persons to make consumers aware of common practices and how to avoid this type of lender.

Jefferson County Housing Authority
Birmingham, AL
$31,573 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Jefferson County Housing Authority has been a certified housing counseling agency since 1994. Over the years
its reputation among the housing counseling network of providers has been of impeccable quality. The geographic
area that is served is primarily Jefferson County, Alabama. The Jefferson County Housing Authority provides a comprehensive housing counseling program directed toward the consumer needs in pre-purchase, pre-rental, rental delinquency, default, post occupancy, HECM, and budgeting and financial management. During FY 2002, the
Jefferson County Housing Authority successfully counseled 144 clients.

Content Archived: March 8, 2011