HUD Archives: News Releases

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

Agencies in Benton Harbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Mt. Clemens, Pontiac and Traverse City receive a total of $1,331,596

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.

Mission of Peace Housing Counseling Agency, Flint, will receive $894,161 for Comprehensive Counseling (CC)
as a National/Regional Intermediary. Formed in 1997 as a faith- and community-based housing counseling agency, Mission of Peace Housing Counseling Agency (MOPHCA) expanded its scope this past year by becoming a national intermediary, and now oversees a network that includes 15 faith-based affiliates in 12 states that provide pre and post-purchase counseling, including mortgage delinquency and default assistance. MOPHCA serves predominantly
low- to moderate-income African-Americans. Additionally, MOPHCA and several of their affiliates complement the housing counseling services offered with effective partnerships and internal products resulting in the availability of affordable housing and quality lending products that can potentially benefit clients. For example, MOPHCA and its affiliates partner with Fannie Mae and several lending organizations, including Flagstar Bank and Chemical Bank, on loan initiatives and products for first-time homebuyers and individuals outside the traditional credit profile.

"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.

Michigan recipients include:
Benton Harbor
Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency - $8,920 - CC
Detroit Non-Profit Housing Corporation - $15,000 - CC
Phoenix Housing and Counseling Non-Profit, Inc. - $40,000 - PL
Phoenix Housing and Counseling Non-Profit, Inc. - $35,169 - CC
Greater Eastside Community Association - $22,334 - CC
Grand Rapids
Inner City Christian Federation - $30,000 - S8
Inner City Christian Federation - $35,169 - CC
State of Michigan - Dept. of Consumer and Industry Services/Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) - $100,000 - CC
Mt. Clemens
Michigan Housing Counselors, Inc. - $27,000 - CC
Lighthouse Community Development - $35,169 - CC
Oakland County Michigan - $38,836 - CC
Traverse City
Northwest Michigan Human Services Agency, Inc. - $49,838 - 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.


Michigan summaries follow.

Detroit Non-Profit Housing Corporation, Detroit, MI
$15,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
Established in 1971, the Detroit Non-Profit Housing Corp. delivers comprehensive housing counseling assistance to clients in Southeastern Michigan. The agency provides the following counseling services: individual and group pre-purchasing, first time homebuyer training, mortgage default and delinquency, debt management, home maintenance/repair, predatory lending prevention, technical assistance to community organizations and individuals, home equity conversion mortgage (HECM), and an individual development account savings program for homeownership. The agency offers an extensive Home Buyer Education Program and membership to a no-charge referral service hotline, "Don't Borrow Trouble."

Greater Eastside Community Association, Flint, MI
$22,334 - Comprehensive Counseling
Greater Eastside Community Association (GECA), incorporated in 1995, provides housing counseling assistance to
the City of Flint and the surrounding Genesee County area. GECA's four housing counselors provide comprehensive housing counseling including pre-occupancy, pre-purchase education, pre-rental, foreclosure prevention, mortgage default counseling, rent delinquency counseling, HECM counseling and mortgage default/ rent delinquency

Inner City Christian Federation, Grand Rapids, MI
$35,169 - Comprehensive Counseling
$30,000 - Section 8 Homeownership Voucher - Housing Counseling

Established in 1974, Inner City Christian Federation (ICCF) provides a continuum of housing opportunities including emergency shelter assistance for the homeless, affordable rental housing and a variety of home ownership services including individual and group counseling, mortgage finance and casework services. The agency provides default avoidance, foreclosure avoidance, purchase and home ownership counseling. The housing counseling staff of five
Full Time Equivalents including two bilingual staff persons. ICCF staff, certified by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), as home ownership counselors delivers a broad range of housing counseling assistance in the Grand Rapids area.

Lighthouse Community Development, Pontiac, MI
$35,169 - Comprehensive Counseling
Lighthouse Community Development received certification as a HUD-approved housing counseling agency in
February 2003. The agency serves residents of Oakland County, Michigan providing housing counseling, financial management, post-closing support services, foreclosure prevention, home repair, and one-on-one counseling to
repair credit and prepare county residents for homeownership. Three highly trained housing counselors deliver a
broad range of housing counseling assistance to the Pontiac Michigan community.

Michigan Housing Counselors, Inc., Mt. Clemens, MI
$27,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
Michigan Housing Counselors, Inc. (MHC) has delivered comprehensive housing counseling assistance in Macomb County for the past 43 years, The housing counseling agency has been certified as a HUD-approved housing counseling agency since 1972. The MHC Flint/Genesee County Branch Office is located approximately 60 miles north
of the City of Detroit. Housing counseling agency clients are counseled in the following areas: pre-purchase, delinquency/ default, home improvement/rehabilitation, displacement/ relocation and home equity conversion
mortgage (HECM). The housing counseling staff of four (4) professional full-time counselors averages over 15 years housing counseling experience.

Northwest Michigan Human Services Agency, Traverse City, MI
$49,838 - Comprehensive Counseling
Northwest Michigan Human Services Agency (NMHSA) has emerged as the "One-Stop Shopping Center" for Housing Counseling Services, Financial Management Education and Individual Development accounts in northern Michigan. Located in Grand Traverse County, NMHSA, delivers housing counseling assistance to clients in ten (10) adjacent
rural counties of northwest lower Michigan and provides a scope of services that includes: pre-occupancy
counseling, homebuyer education programs, post-purchase/ mortgage default and rent delinquency counseling, post purchase/post occupancy counseling, home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) counseling, home improvement and rehabilitation counseling, displacement and relocation counseling and marketing/outreach initiatives. The Community Services Division, responsible for housing counseling activities, is staffed with eleven professionally trained

Oakland County, Michigan (OCM), Pontiac, MI
$38,836 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Housing Counseling Unit of the Community & Home Improvement Division of Oakland County Government, a
HUD-approved housing counseling agency, has been in operation for more than 16 years providing housing
counseling assistance primarily to clients in the city of Pontiac, Michigan. OCM provides a full range of housing counseling services directing special attention to the areas of fair housing, first time homebuyer education and
home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) counseling. The organization's Counseling Agency Director is
professionally trained at basic and advanced levels on reverse mortgages/HECM and AARP Programs.

Phoenix Housing and Counseling Non-Profit, Inc., Detroit, MI
$35,169 - Comprehensive Counseling
$40,000 - Predatory Lending

Phoenix Housing and Counseling Non-Profit, Inc has provided comprehensive housing counseling services for more
than 30 years to clients in the urban core of southeastern Michigan. The counseling agency's primary area of
service includes the City of Detroit and surrounding Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Housing counseling assistance includes first-time homebuyer education, mortgage default and delinquency, home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) counseling, credit repair for prospective first time homebuyers, and housing information and
referral to community resources. The counseling agency is staffed by two (2) professionally trained housing counselors skilled in the real estate and residential building industry. Phoenix Housing and Counseling is an active participant in many of the Detroit community revitalization programs including: the Detroit Empowerment Zone
Task Force, and Neighborhood Review Panel, the Detroit Mortgage Review Board and the Detroit Community Reinvestment Strategy.

Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency, Benton Harbor, MI
$8,920 - Comprehensive Counseling

Southwest Michigan Community Action Agency, a HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agency since November 2000, has six (6) trained housing counselors skilled in conducting pre-homeownership classes, financial management,
credit management and one-on-one counseling. The counseling agency delivers housing counseling assistance to
the Berrien, Cass and Van Buren tri-county area.

State of Michigan - Dept. of Consumer and Industry Services/Michigan State Housing Development
Authority (MSHDA), Lansing, MI
$100,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
MSHDA was created by the Michigan Legislature under the provisions of Public Act 346 of 1966, as amended and
is the primary state agency responsible for providing low and moderate-income Michigan residents with affordable housing opportunities. MSHDA works closely with communities, lenders, realtors, and nonprofit organizations to effectively administer a variety of mortgage loan programs, and education and outreach for individuals with
disabilities. MSHDA has numerous affiliates that provide comprehensive counseling services throughout their
targeted areas. MSHDA has developed a statewide Home Ownership Counseling Network ("The Network"). The Network, in operation since November 1991 has successfully provided both group and individual counseling to
support the state housing authority's affordable housing program. MSHDA continues to be the lead agency
designated to prepare the state of Michigan Consolidated Plan for the non-entitled areas of the state.


Content Archived: June 27, 2011