HUD Archives: News Releases

Kristine Foye
(617) 994-8218
For Release
November 7, 2008

Funding is critical to foreclosure prevention

Today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Taylor Caswell announced that more than $50,000 in funding has been awarded to Affordable Housing Education and Development (AHEAD) to help
families and individuals find or keep homes.

The grant, part of $50 million nationwide and $319,000 awarded in New Hampshire, is being provided under HUD's Housing Counseling Program, which provides funding to help local agencies assist families in becoming first-time homebuyers by helping them to 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 also provide assistance to homeowners who are facing mortgage delinquency and default, and assist homeless families and individuals.

"The value of housing counseling cannot be overstated," said Caswell. "Housing education programs offered by
AHEAD and other HUD-certified housing counseling agencies help put families into the right home, and help keep
them there. Getting the correct information at the beginning of the process will help families avoid mortgage troubles later on."

AHEAD is a community based housing development organization dedicated to strengthening families in Northern Grafton and Coos Counties by helping them build and preserve assets for the future. Services include credit and budget counseling, homebuyer education workshops, financial assistance, and post-purchase counseling including assistance to homeowners who are facing mortgage delinquency/default. Over the past year, AHEAD has provided homeownership education to 92 people, helping 42 become first-time homebuyers. Furthermore, the agency has
seen an increase in the number of people seeking assistance due to mortgage delinquency and defaults, but has
been able to help 81 households work towards saving their homes.

"During tough economic times like this, homeowners can be especially vulnerable: many are one layoff or one family illness away from financial trouble. With HUD Housing counseling funds, AHEAD will remain strong and ready to assist north country residents at a time when they need us the most" says AHEAD's HomeOwnership Center Director Lori Wiggett.

This year with foreclosures on the rise, HUD is emphasizing the importance of housing counseling services more than ever. The organizations that provide housing counseling services help people become or remain homeowners or find rental housing, and most agencies also assist homeless individuals and families find the transitional housing they
need to move toward a permanent place to live.

In addition, many housing counselors help 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. Also, foreclosure prevention counseling helps homeowners facing delinquency or default employ strategies, including expense reduction, negotiation with lenders, and loss mitigation, to avoid foreclosure.

HUD awards annual grants under the housing counseling program through a competitive application process. In addition to providing funding for housing counseling services, HUD has other programs to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure.

The Federal Housing Administration, the branch of HUD that insures mortgages against default, expanded its refinancing program in September, 2007 to allow homeowners with strong credit histories who had been making
timely mortgage payments before their adjustable loans reset to higher rates, to refinance into a fixed-rate
mortgage. Since the program's inception, more than 1,100 mortgages in New Hampshire have been refinanced into FHA-insured mortgages.

For more information on homeownership and foreclosure prevention programs, please contact a HUD-certified
housing counseling agency. The list can be found at


Housing Counseling Grants Awarded in New Hampshire:
New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority $75,000.00
Concord Area Trust for Community Housing $6,000.00
Concord Area Trust for Community Housing $26,739.18
Granite State Independent Living $20,000.00
Laconia Area Community Land Trust $33,478.36
Affordable Housing Education and Development $50,326.30
NeighborWorks of Greater Manchester $50,326.30
The Way Home $57,065.48
Total New Hampshire $318,936.00


Content Archived: March 17, 2011