HUD Archives: News Releases

Kristine Foye
(617) 994-8218
For Release
November 14, 2008

Funding is critical to foreclosure prevention

Today, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Director Taylor Caswell announced that nearly $319,000 in funding has been awarded to seven agencies in New Hampshire to help families and individuals find or keep homes. (Please see list of recipients at the end).

The funding, part of $50 million awarded nationwide, 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 to assist homeless families and individuals.

"The value of housing counseling cannot be overstated," said Caswell. "Housing education programs offered by 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."

The announcement took place at The Way Home, which is receiving $57,065 of the funding. The Way Home is a
non-profit agency whose mission is to help lower income families and individuals obtain and keep safe and affordable housing. Housing counseling services include homebuyer education workshops, post-purchase counseling including assistance to homeowners who are facing mortgage delinquency/default, fair housing assistance, helping renters secure decent housing, and services for the homeless.

Over the past year, in addition to counseling nearly 1,000 renters and homeless persons, The Way Home has
provided financial literacy workshops for 135 people taking steps toward homeownership. The agency has also seen
an increase in the number of people seeking assistance due to mortgage delinquency and default, but has been able to help 40 households work toward saving their homes.

Mary Sliney, Executive Director of The Way Home, stated that "the demand for our services have increased as foreclosures have put both homeowners and renters at risk of homelessness. The Way Home will work with our community partners to expand our housing counseling services to prevent loss of one's home, when possible, and to rapidly re-house renters and home-owners, when prevention of housing loss was not possible."

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.

Another program to help families secure homeownership opportunities and to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure is the Federal Housing Administration, the branch of HUD that insures mortgages against default. FHA 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 $318,935.62


Content Archived: March 17, 2011