HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 03-124IL
Anne Scherrieb
(312 )353-6236 ext. 2666
For Release
November 13, 2003

Agencies in Chicago, Decatur, Effingham, Grayslake, Homewood, Joliet, Springfield and Wheaton receive a total of $676,960

WASHINGTON - 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.

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.

"HUD is committed to making it easier for more families to realize the dream of homeownership," said. Joseph P.
Galvan HUD Regional Director for the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin). "Housing counselors will help more Americans, particularly minorities, to achieve that dream."

Of the $37.561 million in grants, $2.7 million is being awarded specifically to combat predatory lending (PL),
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 (S8) 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.

Illinois recipients include:

Chicago Access Living Of Metropolitan Chicago - $35,303 - CC
Chicago Commons Housing Resource - $18,315 - CC
Community and Economic Development Assoc. of Cook County - $71,350 - CC
Community and Economic Development Association - $30,707 - PL
HCP of Illinois, Inc. - $36,000 - CC
Latino United Community Housing Association - $29,493 - S8
Latino United Community Housing Association - $51,460 - CC
Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago - $54,777 - CC
Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago - $39,627 - PL
Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Inc. - $34,887 - CC
Rogers Park Community Development Corporation - $40,000 - CC
Spanish Coalition for Housing - $43,986 - S8
Decatur Community Investment Corporation of Decatur, Inc. - $31,573 - CC
Effingham CEFS Economic Opportunity Corporation - $20,200 - CC
Grayslake Housing Authority Of The County Of Lake - $19,967 - CC
Homewood South Suburban Housing Center - $36,000 - CC
Joliet Will County Center For Community Concerns - $15,000 - CC
Springfield TSP HOPE, Inc. - $18,315 - CC
Wheaton DuPage Homeownership Center, Inc. - $10,000 - S8
DuPage Homeownership Center, Inc. - $40,000 - CC

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.


For a state-by-state breakdown of grant recipients and detailed individual grant summaries, visit HUD's website. Illinois summaries follow.

Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago, IL
$35,303 - Comprehensive Counseling

Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago was established in 1979. This agency's goal is to increase the availability of adequate affordable housing through a variety of services. Access Living's programs consist of housing counseling, support groups, information and referral, policy work to address local housing issues, community organizing,
leadership training, and networking with other housing oriented groups. Access Living counsels persons with
disabilities on rental and homeownership options. They educate consumers on how to access financial assistance programs that are available to low income individuals and families. Access partners with the Chicago Department of Housing and with HUD makes available housing choices for persons with disabilities.

C.E.F.S. Economic Opportunity Corporation, Effingham, IL
$20,200 - Comprehensive Counseling

C.E.F.S. has been a certified HUD housing counseling agency since 1994. The purpose of their program is to provide opportunities to empower individuals to advance to their full individual and economic potential. C.E.F.S. is a South Central Illinois Rural Agency that covers a seven county area. They provide HECM, foreclosure prevention,
homeless, pre and post rental counseling, post occupancy, pre-purchase and budget counseling. They coordinate funding from the Community Services Block Grant Program. The agency also assists senior citizens with home
repairs. In the past year C.E.F.S. served a total of 485 households.

Chicago Commons Housing Resource, Chicago, IL
$18,315 - Comprehensive Counseling

Chicago Commons Housing Resource was established as a nonprofit agency in 1894 to assist people to become self sufficient and economically independent. Housing counseling services provided by the agency include: pre-
occupancy, rent delinquency and mortgage default. Chicago Commons Housing Resource provides services on issues to persons to help them retain homeownership. The agency concentrates on areas of high default and foreclosure rates. They also provide counseling on predatory lending, and fair housing issues. Chicago Commons Housing
Resource assists the Englewood community with problems caused by substandard housing, housing shortages, and housing abandonment.

Community & Economic Development Association, Chicago, IL
$71,350 - Comprehensive Counseling
$30,707 - Predatory Lending

Community & Economic Development Association (CEDA) housing counseling program has primarily served residents
of suburban Cook County since 1966. CEDA has been a HUD approved Housing Counseling Agency since 1974. In
1985, the agency expanded their services to residents of Chicago and other surrounding counties. CEDA's goal is to provide a basic, consistent and standardized level of quality housing services to all clients. CEDA provides housing counseling services in the following areas: pre-purchase, pre-rental, mortgage default, rental delinquency, post-occupancy, energy conservation and relocation services. CEDA works with other agencies to further the
effectiveness of fair housing. CEDA has several office locations, and a bilingual staff. Their experience as a FY01
HUD Predatory Lending Hot Zone Pilot Project helped them develop specific plans for Predatory Lending grant funds. Counselors will work closely with other counselors in their comprehensive program to identify and work with victims
of predatory lending and will be responsible for outreach and educational efforts.

Community Investment Corporation of Decatur, Inc., Decatur, IL
$31,573 - Comprehensive Counseling

Community Investment Corporation of Decatur, Inc. (CICD) has provided housing counseling since l999. Under their Welcome Home Program, they provide housing counseling to residents of Decatur and Macon counties in Illinois.
They provide homebuyer education, pre and post purchase, mortgage delinquency, and money/debt counseling.
CICD has a very strong commitment to serving the needs of low-income and inner-city populations. CICD works closely with Dove, Inc., a grassroots faith based organization. They have been successful in assisting two homeless families in securing homeownership. They have established at least two goals for the proposed housing counseling services; the agency will conduct predatory lending counseling and a follow-up program for first-time homebuyers.

DuPage Homeownership Center, Inc., Wheaton, IL
$40,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
$10,000 - Section 8 Homeownership Voucher - Housing Counseling

DuPage Homeownership Center is the only HUD-certified pre-purchase and default counseling agency serving the DuPage area. They have served this area since 1991. The DuPage Homestead Program was created in 1992 to
provide a reduced-interest package to help qualified first time homebuyers. DuPage is an active member of the DuPage County Continuum of Care to End Homelessness. They are also working with the local Housing Authority assisting buyers to purchase homes using their HUD Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers.

HCP of Illinois, Inc., Chicago, IL
$36,000 - Comprehensive Counseling

Housing Choice Partners (HCP) is a private non-profit organization dedicated to providing access to quality
affordable housing for low-income families who receive a rent subsidy or housing choice voucher. Metropolitan fair housing groups organized HCP in 1995. HCP has expanded its program to include work with the City of Chicago and
its Plan for Transformation of its public housing. HCP of Illinois became a HUD approved housing counseling agency
this year. The agency is based on the nationally recognized Gautreaux Assisted Housing Program. HCP provides a variety of basic services including group education and one-on-one counseling for prospective homebuyers. Over
the past seven years, HCP has educated almost 5,000 voucher families in making a move from their current
housing. HCP has well experienced staff to make a difference in people's lives.

Housing Authority of the County of Lake, Grayslake, IL
$19,967 - Comprehensive Counseling

The Housing Authority of the County of Lake, Illinois (LCHA) is organized as a municipal corporation under the laws
of the State of Illinois. It manages a conventional public housing program of 620 units, administers the Section 8 Housing Voucher Program with budget authority to assist approximately 2400 households, and has Section 8 new construction ACC administrative responsibility for another 586 units. LCHA was certified by the Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 1992. The agency provides homebuyer, mortgage default, pre-foreclosure, predatory lending, HECM, and tenant/landlord counseling. They served 125 clients the previous year.

Latino United Community Housing Association, Chicago, IL
$51,460 - Comprehensive Counseling
$29,493 - Section 8 Homeownership Voucher - Housing Counseling

Latino United Community Housing Association, known as LUCHA, was founded in 1982 whose mission is to stabilize
the Latino community and other residents of the northwest side of Chicago. The types of counseling provided are
pre-occupancy, homebuyer education, post purchase, mortgage default, rehabilitation, displacement/ relocation, winter weatherization and home accessibility assistance for the elderly and disabled. They also provide orientation sessions to persons with Section 8 vouchers. LUCHA has a staff that is bilingual, therefore, they can provide counseling to all clients. LUCHA successfully counseled 1,651 clients in fiscal year 2002.

Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago, IL
$54,777 - Comprehensive Counseling
$39,627 - Predatory Lending

Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago (LAFC) offers housing counseling services to all low and moderate income families in the Chicago area with special emphasis on assisting senior citizens and low-income minorities. LAFC has two special project programs: Home Ownership Preservation Project (HOPP), operating since
1995 and Housing Law Project for Seniors (HLPS) that began in 1998. These projects provide training to housing counselors in Chicago on loss mitigation techniques and sub prime lending abuses. This agency was instrumental in
the passage of anti-predatory lending regulations in Chicago, Cook County and Illinois and in the development of
the first two loan programs in the nation specifically designed to assist victims of predatory lending. LAFC will
provide one-on-one counseling to victims of predatory lending, participate and present predatory lending workshops and work with consumer advocates nationwide to develop national anti-predatory lending initiatives. LAFC is a principal provider of legal services to the poor of Chicago offering them with not just default counseling but with
an array of legal services such as representation in litigation cases designed to prevent the loss of homes.

Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, Inc., Chicago, IL
$34,887 - Comprehensive Counseling

Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago (N.H.S.) is a full service HUD certified Housing Counseling Agency. They conduct counseling for first time homebuyers, credit counseling, budget, and homeownership classes. They also conduct post purchase programs and foreclosure intervention. This agency has a three-step program in the
education process. N.H.S. provides a two-hour orientation class for potential buyers in group sessions and
continues with one-on-one counseling with a homeownership consultant. Then, they are offered an opportunity
for homebuyer classes. N.H.S. will be launching a newly developed Home Maintenance Program in the fall of 2003
at the North Lawndale location. They partner with the City of Chicago Department of Housing in assisting
homeowners in default.

Rogers Park Community Development Corporation, Chicago, IL
$40,000 - Comprehensive Counseling

Rogers Park Community Development was formed in 1952. Their primary service area is Cook County and provides
a variety of counseling and resource information. The agency currently offers counseling in the following areas:
pre- and post purchase, foreclosure prevention, HECM, mortgage default and predatory lending. They offer a series
of homeowner education classes through the city college at Truman College. These classes assisted the City of Chicago's program for Affordable Neighborhoods and New Homes. In 2002, they counseled over 1,193 families. They serve the Hispanic community and have staff that is bilingual. Rogers Park Community Development partners with other community organizations to provide services to their clients.

South Suburban Housing Center, Homewood, IL
$36,000 - Comprehensive Counseling

South Suburban Housing Center (SSHC) has been administering housing counseling since 1977. The last six years SSHC has been a HUD certified housing counseling agency. They provide pre and post mortgage counseling, homebuyer workshops, mortgage default, fair housing and predatory lending counseling. They also provide rental counseling to assist individuals in expanding their options in the housing marketplace. Their goal is to provide
housing and mortgage financing information to all low and moderate-income families. SSHC seeks to provide long-
term racial diversity, compliance with fair housing laws, and the prevention of predatory lending throughout their targeted areas.

Spanish Coalition for Housing (SCH), Chicago, IL
$43,986 - Section 8 Homeownership Voucher - Housing Counseling

Spanish Coalition for Housing (SCH) was created in 1966 and focuses their services in the low to moderate-income communities of the Chicago area with the primary focus on Latinos. The agency provides all counseling in both
English and Spanish. The agency believes that everyone is entitled to safe, decent, affordable housing regardless
of race, color, sex, marital status, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, sexual preference, parental status, source of income or the language they speak. Counseling services consist of: pre and post-purchase; default/foreclosure prevention; pre and post rental; HECM, Section 8 and workshops to provide a better understanding of the rights and responsibilities of both tenant and landlord. In partnership with the Chicago
Housing Authority, the Spanish Coalition for Housing plans to provide counseling services to 100 participants in the Section 8 homeownership voucher program in the coming year.

TSP Hope, Inc., Springfield, IL
$18,315 - Comprehensive Counseling

TSP Hope, Inc. was organized as a non-profit organization in 1999. The mission of TSP is to foster community relations that will improve the quality of life for residents and further homeownership in their targeted area. TSP
seeks to empower citizens to develop solutions to problems that are identified in their neighborhoods. TSP's mission
is to provide safe affordable housing to the very low-to-low income families. TSP is actively developing a strong
hold in the targeted neighborhoods by renovating existing structures, constructing single-family homes, creating
multi-income, multi-racial neighborhoods and providing creative funding to make housing affordable. TSP partners
with the Springfield Housing Authority.

Will County Center for Community Concerns, Joliet, IL
$15,000 - Comprehensive Counseling

The Will County Center for Community Concerns was established in 1987. The agency became HUD certified in
1994, and is one of only two agencies in Will County that provided housing counseling to the public. The agency offers the following programs: Certified Renters Training, Emergency Services, CSBG Loan Program, Housing Counseling/Mortgage Assistance, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, the Illinois Home Weatherization Assistance Program, HECM and homebuyer counseling. They partner with other community resources in serving
their clients.


Content Archived: March 15, 2011