HUD No. 02-01-2011
Joseph J. Phillips
February 1, 2011
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCES OVER $4 MILLION TO GEORGIA HOUSING COUNSELING AGENCIES TO HELP FAMILIES FIND AND KEEP HOUSING
HUD Partners with Piece by Piece Foreclosure Initiative to Innovatively and more Effectively Address the Atlanta Regional Foreclosure Crisis
ATLANTA - U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development announced today over $4 million to over 20 Georgia Housing Counseling Agencies in an effort to help families find decent housing and to prevent future foreclosures. Building on the momentum and partnership with the Piece by Piece Atlanta Regional Foreclosure Initiative, the HUD funding will boost efforts to help eligible homeowners stay in their homes.
The Obama Administration announced on December 23, 2010, nearly $73 million in housing counseling grants to more than 500 national, regional and local organizations.
"Housing Counseling Agencies are on the front lines of helping families who are desperate to remain in their homes and this grant award is crucial in helping housing counseling agencies help them," said Ed Jennings, Jr., Southeast Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Working hand in hand with the Piece by Piece Atlanta regional foreclosure initiative, HUD is looking forward to innovatively addressing this major problem."
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.
"Metro Atlanta continues to be one of the hardest-hit areas in the country when it comes to foreclosures," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "I applaud HUD for their continued vigilance in stabilizing our communities through innovative and vital funding programs.This funding from HUD is critical to the region's financial recovery and will help our residents and communities through the process of economic recovery."
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.
"The Piece by Piece initiative and its more than 150 partners are honored to work with HUD to help many of our neighbors in the Atlanta region avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes," said John O'Callaghan, President/CEO of Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership. "The counseling that is made possible by these grants is truly an investment in the people and families of metro Atlanta and Georgia."
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 review their loan documentation, and avoid potential mortgage scams, 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 at critical levels 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 performance reviews to maintain their HUD-approved status.
For a list of all grants, organized by state, visit HUD's website.
For summary of each grant, organized by state, visit HUD's website.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDnews or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.