HUD Region VI: 13-66
Patricia Campbell/Scott Hudman
(817) 978-5974/(713) 718-3107
June 18, 2013
OKLAHOMA TO RECEIVE OVER $85,000 FOR HOUSING COUNSELING
Bethany, Enid, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa Area Organizations Receive Funding
OKLAHOMA CITY - As part of its continuing effort to assist families and individuals with their housing needs and to prevent future foreclosures, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced $85,666 in grants to five organizations in Oklahoma. Nationally, more than $40 million was awarded to 334 national, regional and local organizations.
As a result of these grants and the additional funding they help leverage, more than 1.6 million households nationwide will have a greater opportunity to find housing, make more informed housing choices or keep their current homes.
"The evidence is clear that housing counseling works," said HUD Acting Regional Administrator Mark Brezina. "The HUD-approved counseling agencies this funding supports are crucial in helping families manage their money, navigate the homebuying process, avoid foreclosure and secure their financial futures."
Agencies use their grants to address the full range of families' housing counseling needs. This includes helping homebuyers navigate the homebuying process; helping households find affordable rental housing; offering foreclosure prevention counseling; offering financial literacy training to individuals and families struggling to repair credit problems that restrict their housing options; assisting homeless persons in finding transitional housing; and counseling senior citizens seeking reverse mortgages or Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM).
Housing counseling agencies also support fair housing by assisting borrowers in reviewing their loan documentation to avoid potential mortgage scams. See below for local program descriptions:
Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Central Oklahoma, Inc.
$20,012 -- Comprehensive Counseling
Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Central Oklahoma, Inc. (http://www.cccsok.org/) was established in 1967. CCCS is a private, nonprofit organization that has dedicated itself for over 45 years to equipping and empowering Oklahomans in the western two-thirds of the state with the knowledge and confidence they need to make wise financial choices, increase their assets, and become financially self-sufficient. Their mission is "to help people help themselves become financially strong individuals and families through counseling, debt management, and education." CCCS provides free counseling and education services throughout central and rural western Oklahoma. CCCS is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency and is accredited by the national Council on Accreditation. All of the agency's counselors are certified by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Comprehensive housing counseling topics include homebuyer education and post-purchase counseling, foreclosure prevention and alternatives to foreclosure, reverse mortgages, affordable rental housing, and fair and accessible housing issues. Other counseling services include budgeting, credit, and debt management. CCCS has forged extensive partnerships with other local service providers, including Habitat for Humanity, Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency, Neighborhood Housing Services of Oklahoma City, state and local housing authorities, and community action agencies. CCCS has access to bilingual interpreters and services for the hearing-impaired. CCCS also offers free and low-cost financial literacy workshops, and our services especially benefit low-income families and persons with disabilities.
Community Development Support Association, Inc.
$16,690 -- Comprehensive Counseling
Community Development Support Association, Inc. (http://www.cdsaok.org/) (CDSA) is a private non-profit community action agency established in 1980, and has been a HUD certified housing counseling agency since 1998. The mission of the agency is to work with others to identify needs, secure resources, and deliver services that improve lives in our communities. The agency does this by employing qualified staff to implement programs based on community needs that have been identified through research and needs assessments. CDSA provides comprehensive housing counseling including: Homebuyer education, mortgage delinquency/default counseling, homeless services, and services to renters as well as services that promote energy efficiency.
Community Action Agency of Oklahoma City and Oklahoma/Canadian Counties, Inc.
Oklahoma City, OK
$15,583 -- Comprehensive Counseling
CAA's (http://caaofokc.org/) mission is, "To promote the self-sufficiency of the socially, economically and culturally disadvantaged citizens of Oklahoma City and Oklahoma and Canadian Counties, to eliminate the paradox of poverty among these citizens by opening to everyone the opportunity to work, to live in decency and dignity, and to become fully self-sufficient. CAA's mission is to plan and evaluate new types of services, innovative approaches and strategies for overcoming the root causes of poverty in the community, to include providing affordable housing to low and moderate income households". The Special Projects Division was created in 1992 to fill a gap in services for low-income families who are seeking affordable housing. The HOME funded Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance Programs, and the Home Owner Occupied Rehabilitation Program have been administered by the Special Projects Division for over sixteen (16) years. The Special Projects Division is currently running Down Payment and Closing Costs Assistance Program through the City of OKC and through Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency. This division is HUD approved to provide Loss Mitigation and Foreclosure Counseling, Pre-purchase/homebuyer Education counseling activities.
Housing Partners of Tulsa, Inc.
$14,845 -- Comprehensive Counseling
Housing Partners of Tulsa, Inc. (http://www.tulsahousing.org/) (HPT) has served the City of Tulsa since its creation in 1991 when it was established as a not-for-profit corporation. For over twenty-one years, HPT has strived to aid citizens with its mission "to provide a wide range of affordable housing options for low and moderate-income Tulsans and to promote programs leading to self-sufficiency and homeownership." HPT has continued to grow and develop with Tulsa and now offers an array of services from homebuyer and educations workshops, fair housing education and outreach, and post purchase education. HPT also provides down payment assistance and individual counseling on pre-purchase homeownership, money management, default resolution, and foreclosure prevention. Through these services HPT will continue to find new and innovative ways to serve Tulsans on their path to homeownership and financial freedom.
$18,536 -- Comprehensive Counseling
Quickcert, Inc. (http://www.quickcert.org/) founded in 2007 and is headquartered in Tulsa, OK. The agency is approved by HUD to offer telephone housing counseling services to individuals across the United States and Puerto Rico both in English and Spanish. Their goal is to provide housing counseling services with their primary focus on senior services and reverse mortgage counseling. With their primary focus being on senior services, their office is fully handicapped accessible to provide effective face to face counseling.
Of the $40 million awarded today, more than $38 million in grant funds will directly support the housing counseling services provided by 27 national and regional organizations, eight multi-state organizations, 22 State Housing Finance Agencies (SHFAs) and 277 local housing counseling agencies. In addition, HUD is awarding $2 million to two national organizations to train housing counselors who will receive the instruction and certification necessary to effectively assist families with their housing needs.
HUD awards annual grants under the housing counseling program through a competitive process. Organizations that apply for grants must be HUD-approved and are subject to monitoring and oversight to maintain their HUD-approved status.
National and regional agencies distribute much of HUD's housing counseling grant funding to community-based organizations that assist low- and moderate-income families to improve their housing conditions. In addition, these larger organizations help improve the quality of housing counseling services and enhance coordination among counseling providers.
HUD studies show the effectiveness of housing counseling. Last year, HUD released two reports on the impact of HUD-approved housing counseling for families who purchase their first homes and those struggling to prevent foreclosure. In both studies, HUD found housing counseling significantly improved the likelihood homeowners remained in their homes.
HUD's new mobile app (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hud-counselor-lookup/id568893389?mt=8) allows smartphone and tablet users to locate housing counselors in their own area.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet and espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDnews, on facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv.