November 2, 2004
BUSH ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES $43.7 MILLION IN HOUSING COUNSELING GRANTS FOR LOW INCOME FAMILIES
Arkadelphia, Jonesboro and Russellville Receive Grants
LITTLE ROCK - Nearly 910,000 individuals and families will have a greater opportunity to find housing or keep the homes they have because of more than $43.7 million in housing counseling grants announced today by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. In Arkansas, Arkadelphia, Jonesboro and Russellville received a
total of $131,964. A list of the grantees and amounts follows.
It is estimated these grants will assist more than 709,000 people nationally to either become first-time homeowners
or remain homeowners after their purchase. The grants were awarded to 18 national and regional organizations and approximately 340 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.
"HUD's Housing Counseling Program plays a key role in support of the President's goal," said Jackson. "Under this Administration, more families are receiving counseling services than ever before and more families are purchasing
and keeping their homes. In addition, this program is also helping more families find the help they need to secure decent and affordable rental housing."
The 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.
Of the $43 million in housing counseling grants, $2.5 million is being awarded specifically to combat predatory
lending, including awards to five national and regional intermediaries and 42 state and local organizations, including Arkadelphia. Grantees will assist unwary buyers to 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.
The organizations that provide housing counseling services help people become or remain homeowners or find rental housing. HUD-funded housing counseling agencies also 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 as well as enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet.
South Arkansas Community Development
$35,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
$4,900 - Predatory Lending Counseling
South Arkansas Community Development (SACD) is a non-profit organization whose primary mission to provide education and counseling to help low- and moderate-income families achieve and attain homeownership. Housing counseling services offered by SACD include rental, pre-purchase, post-purchase, and mortgage default/foreclosure counseling. SACD has a bi-lingual staff, and provides homebuyer/homeownership education and financial literacy classes in English and Spanish. SACD serves south Arkansas consisting of eight primary counties.
Crowley's Ridge Development Council (CRDC), Inc.
$37,248 - Comprehensive Counseling
Crowley's Ridge Development Council (CRDC), Inc., was organized in 1969 as a nonprofit corporation provide services that improve the social and economic wellbeing of low-income individuals and families in Northeast Arkansas. The
core value as an organization is to address the causes of poverty in our area by offering a "hand up" rather than a "handout"! To this end, CRDC administers a variety of programs that assist individuals with employment, education, case management, income management, rental housing, homeownership, substance abuse prevention and treatment, Head Start, and services for the aging.
Universal Housing Development Corporation
$54,816 - Comprehensive Counseling
Universal Housing Development Corporation (UHDC) is an organization that has provided counseling and housing-related services in Congressional District 2 and 3 of Arkansas since 1971. The services provided include Section 8 Rental Assistance and Family Self-Sufficiency for low income renters. UHDC can assist qualified low-income
individuals in homeownership through its First-Time Home Buyer Opportunity Programs, and its Community Housing Development Organization. UHDC also provides counseling in the following areas: mortgage default, credit/budget, predatory lending awareness, post purchase, and reverse mortgage counseling for the elderly.