HUD No. AL-100808a
October 8, 2008
BUSH ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $50 MILLION IN HOUSING COUNSELING GRANTS TO NEARLY 400 NATIONAL, STATE AND LOCAL AGENCIES
Alabama agencies receive $186,000 for foreclosure prevention
BIRMINGHAM - Hundreds of thousands of American families will have a greater opportunity to find housing or keep
the homes they have because of $50 million in housing counseling and counseling training grants announced today
by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Steve Preston. HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agencies in Birmingham, Huntsville, Mobile, Troy and Tuscaloosa received grants to provide comprehensive counseling services
and reverse mortgage counseling. Other agencies in Alabama were also funded through national intermediary grants.
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.
"These critical counseling grants not only help to put people into homes, but they help to keep them there as well," said Preston. "Housing counseling organizations will continue to help families make more informed choices before they purchase a home and counsel families facing foreclosure. Now, more than ever, it is critical that Americans better understand how to manage their money, navigate the homebuying process, and securing their financial future."
|Alabama Housing Counseling Grantees for Fiscal Year 2008
|City||Housing Counseling Agencies||Awarded||
|Birmingham||Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity||$23,369.59||
|Huntsville||Community Action Partnership, Huntsville/Madison & Limestone Counties, Inc||$20,000.00||
|Huntsville||Family Services Center, Inc.||$30,000.00||
|Mobile||Mobile Housing Board||$10,000.00||
|Mobile||Mobile Housing Board||$54,085.00||
|Troy||Organized Community Action Programs, Inc||$25,438.00||
|Tuscaloosa||Community Service Programs of West Al, Inc.||$23,369.59||
Since 2001, HUD has increased funding to 2,300 approved housing counseling agencies by 150 percent. More than
$47 million will support 21 national and regional organizations and 376 state and local housing counseling agencies.
In addition, HUD is awarding $3 million to two national organizations to train approximately 2,600 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 $4 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 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