October 18, 2002
BUSH ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $18 MILLION IN GRANTS TO PROMOTE HOMEOWNERSHIP AND HOUSING FOR LOW-INCOME FAMILIES
30 New York State Agencies will Receive More Than $500,000
WASHINGTON - Nearly 430,000 individuals and families will be able to find housing or keep the homes they have because of more than $18 million in housing counseling grants announced today by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez. The grants are being announced the same week President Bush hosted a Washington conference that highlighted the importance of education and counseling when purchasing a home.
It's estimated these grants, awarded to over 300 state and local
housing agencies and 12 national and regional agencies, will assist
more than a quarter million people nationwide to either become first-time
homeowners or remain homeowners after their purchase. Thirty housing
counseling agencies in New York State were awarded grants
totaling $502,601. 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 grants will go a long way to help more Americans either become or remain homeowners," said Martinez. "President Bush and I are committed to opening the doors to the American Dream to minority families who have long wanted a home to call their own."
President Bush is proposing to increase HUD's Housing Counseling
grant program from $20 million to $35 million next year - a 75 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.
The 12 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.
Who benefits from housing counseling?
Based on past experience, HUD anticipates the counseling grants
announced today will enable approximately
160,000 would-be homeowners to learn how to improve their credit, strengthen money management skills and avoid predatory lenders and other unscrupulous practices. Another 100,000 existing homeowners will learn how to avoid delinquency and default, restructure debt and maintain their home. In addition, nearly 120,000 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, nearly 13,000 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.