HUD No. 07-95
October 24, 2007
ARKANSAS RECEIVES $203,000 IN HUD HOUSING COUNSELING GRANTS
Arkadelphia, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Russellville and Springdale among grantees
FORT WORTH - Housing counseling agencies in Arkansas have received a total of $203,054.40 in HUD Housing Counseling Grants. Nationwide, approximately 700,000 families will have a greater opportunity to find housing or keep the homes they have because of more than $44 million in housing counseling and counseling training grants recently announced by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. A list of the Arkansas grantees and program summaries follows.
"This Administration strongly believes in the value of housing counseling services," said Jackson. "These organizations help families make informed choices before they take the important step of homeownership. They also provide a service that is vital in today's mortgage market - they counsel families facing foreclosure and advise them about
The organizations that provide housing counseling services help people become homeowners, remain homeowners,
find rental housing and assist homeless persons in finding transitional housing. 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.
Housing counseling agencies 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.
And with foreclosures on the rise nationwide, housing counselors can assist homeowners in mortgage default with strategies to avoid losing their homes.
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.
South Arkansas Community Development
$39,900.00 - Comprehensive Counseling
South Arkansas Community Development (SACD) is a non-profit organization with the primary mission of providing education and counseling to low- and moderate-income families to help them achieve homeownership.SACD was certified as a HUD housing counseling agency in March of 2002. Housing counseling services offered by SACD include: pre-purchase, post-purchase, and mortgage delinquency/default/foreclosure counseling. SACD provides homebuyer education and financial literacy classes in English and Spanish.
SACD serves South Arkansas, which consists of seven primary counties, and partners with the USDA Rural Development's Self-Help Housing Program, the Arkansas Development Finance Authority, local housing authorities throughout the seven counties, including those that promote Section 8 for homeownership, and Individual Development Account programs, which is a program that matches savings for first-time home buyers. SACD believes that the counseling and education on financial matters, such as credit, budgeting, and knowledge of predatory
lending practices, is the first step in the process that helps individuals and families have a better quality of life,
obtain their dream of homeownership, and ultimately build a strong sense of community. In the past 4 1/2 years, SACD has counseled 3,000 clients and helped 295 families attain homeownership.
Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council, Inc.
Fort Smith, AR
$27,230.82 - Comprehensive Counseling
Crawford-Sebastian Community Development Council, Inc. (C-SCDC) is a non-profit agency incorporated in 1965 whose mission is to help low income families become more self-sufficient through a variety of social services and housing programs. C-SCDC is a HUD-approved counseling agency helping to make homeownership and affordable housing available to low to moderate income individuals and families in Crawford and Sebastian Counties. C-SCDC provides homebuyer education; one-on-one pre-purchase counseling and loan preparation; mortgage default and delinquency prevention counseling; and rental counseling/homeless counseling to over 500 households per year. As
a result of this counseling and down payment assistance programs, 276 households obtained homeownership last
JURHA Housing and Community Development Organization
$45,307.86 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Jonesboro Urban Renewal and Housing Authority (JURHA) Housing and Community Development Organization (JURHA HCDO) became a HUD-approved housing counseling agency on January 31, 2007. The services provided include mortgage delinquency and default resolution counseling, fair housing assistance, homebuyer education programs, money/debt management, pre-and post-purchase counseling, and renters assistance.
The JURHA HCDO Counseling Agency offers a "Mortgage Ready" program to enable individuals who may not be ready for mortgage pre-approval to commit to a plan to become mortgage-ready within 3-24 months. Staff have provided housing counseling service to the Housing Choice Voucher program and public housing Clients since November 2004.
Economic Opportunity Agency of Washington County, Inc.
$27,230.82 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Economic Opportunity Agency of Washington County, Inc., (EOA) was founded in 1966 to act as a local administrative agency for a variety of federal, state and locally funded programs. EOA's services are broad in scope, cutting across various need areas, population groups, and community sectors, to develop local solutions to poverty through self-sufficiency. EOA offers a menu of services including Head Start/Early Head Start, Individual
Development Accounts, a child abuse treatment center, housing resources, community development, and has a Cultural Resource Center and Language Lab.
Universal Housing Development Corporation
$63,384.90 - Comprehensive Counseling
Universal Housing Corporation (UHDC) has been providing housing-related services to the people of the Second and Third Congressional Districts of Arkansas since 1971. UHDC was organized under the direction of a community-based board of directors with a mission to promote adequate and affordable housing, economic opportunity, and a suitable living environment, free from discrimination. UHDC offers a full range of housing-related services including rental assistance, multi-family housing, comprehensive housing counseling, new home construction, weatherization, and three different homeowner rehabilitation programs. UHDC chartered with Neighborworks® America in 2002.
As a HUD-approved housing counseling agency since 1977, UHDC is able to offer a full range of counseling services
to its clients in the 21 counties it serves in Arkansas. The current grant will be used primarily to provide direct services to UHDC clients.