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December 23, 2010
HUD AWARDS $635,286 TO 10 HOUSING COUNSELING AGENCIES IN IDAHO, OREGON & WASHINGTON STATE TO HELP NORTHWEST FAMILIES HOLD ONTO THEIR HOMES
Agencies in Bend, Boise, Corvallis, Hillsboro, Lewiston, Portland, Seattle, Spokane & Springfield Win Grants
SEATTLE - In an effort to help families find decent housing and to prevent future foreclosures, the Obama Administration today announced the award of $635,286.77 to 10 housing counseling agencies in Idaho, Oregon and Washington State.
The announcement is part of some $73 million in HUD housing counseling funds awarded today to more than 500 national, regional and local organizations. The grants announced today represent a $13 million, or 22 percent
increase over last year's funding level.
"These organizations are on the front lines of helping families who are desperate to remain in their homes," said Donovan. "Now, more than ever, it's crucial that we support these agencies that are working with struggling families on a one-to-one basis to manage their money, navigate the homebuying process, and secure their financial futures."
"These agencies are on the forward lines of helping Northwest families weather the worst economic storms our economy has faced in more than 70 year," said HUD's Northwest Regional Administrator Mary McBride. "Thousands
of homeowners across the country have held onto their homes thanks to the incredible energy and expertise these agencies and counselors have provided. Thanks to this funding and those agencies, thousands more will be helped."
The Northwest housing counseling organizations winning HUD grants today are:
IDAHO -- $178,553.83
Boise - IDAHO HOUSING AND FINANCE ASSOCIATION - $133,721.36 - COMP
Lewiston - COMMUNITY ACTION PARTNERSHIP - $44,832.47 - COMP
OREGON - $228,262.88
Bend - NEIGHBORIMPACT FKA: CENTRAL OREGON COMMUNITY ACTION AGENCY NETWORK - $46,798.97 - COMP
Corvallis - WILLAMETTE NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSING SERVICES, INC - $44,832.47 - COMP
Hillsboro - OPEN DOOR COUNSELING CENTER- $39,424.61 - COMP
Hillsboro - OPEN DOOR COUNSELING CENTER - $10,000.00 - HECM
Portland - NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH AND FAMILY CENTER - $44,340.85 - COMP
Springfield - NEIGHBORHOOD ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION - $42,865.98 - COMP
WASHINGTON - $228,470.06
Seattle - SOLID GROUND WASHINGTON - $41,882.73 - COMP
Seattle - SOLID GROUND WASHINGTON - $10,000.00 - HECM
Seattle - WASHINGTON STATE HOUSING FINANCE COMMISSION - $133,721.35 - COMP
Spokane - SPOKANE NEIGHBORHOOD ACTION PARTNERS (SNAP) - $42,865.98 - COMP
Housing counseling grants will assist families in becoming first-time homeowners and remaining homeowners after
their purchase. HUD-approved counseling agencies not only provide homeownership counseling, but also offer
financial literacy training to renters and homeless individuals and families.
"Now, more than ever, it is crucial that Americans better understand how to manage their money, navigate the homebuying process, and secure their financial future." said Donovan. "This critical funding will help counseling organizations continue to assist families in making more informed choices before they purchase a home and counsel families facing foreclosure."
Nearly $68 million will support the direct provision of housing counseling services by 24 national and regional organizations, 5 multi-state organizations, and 484 state and local housing counseling agencies. In addition, HUD
is awarding more than $5 million to three national organizations to train approximately 4,500 counselors who will receive the instruction and certification necessary to effectively assist families with their housing needs.
National and regional agencies distribute much of HUD's housing counseling grant funding to community-based grassroots organizations that provide 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.
Counseling agencies will use $9.5 million to help assist senior citizens seeking reverse mortgages or Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM). These agencies will provide counseling for the rapidly growing number of elderly homeowners who seek to convert equity in their homes into income that can be used to pay for home improvements, medical costs, and other living expenses.
The organizations that provide housing counseling services help people become or remain homeowners or find rental housing, and assist homeless persons in finding the transitional housing they need to move toward a permanent
place to live. Grant recipients also help homebuyers and homeowners 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.
In addition, grantees help combat predatory lending by helping unwary borrowers review their loan documentation, and avoid potential mortgage scams, 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. Likewise, foreclosure prevention counseling helps homeowners facing delinquency or default employ strategies, including expense reduction, negotiation with lenders and loan servicers, and loss mitigation, to avoid foreclosure. With foreclosures at critical levels nationwide, these services are more important than ever.
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 performance reviews to maintain their HUD-approved status.