HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 07-144
For Release
October 4, 2007

Tennessee to receive almost $1.3 million for Housing Counseling

NASHVILLE, TN - Approximately 700,000 families will have a greater opportunity to find housing or keep the homes they have because of more than $44 million in housing counseling and counseling training grants announced today
by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. The State of Tennessee received $1,118,533 for
a national grant to West Tennessee Legal Services and nearly $120 thousand to four local housing counseling
grantees. (see attached list of grantees)

Housing counseling grants will assist families in becoming first-time homeowners and remaining homeowners after
their purchase. Renters and homeless individuals and families will also benefit from the counseling offered by the grants. These grants, totaling over $41 million, were awarded to 19 national and regional organizations and nearly
370 state and local housing counseling agencies.

Housing counseling training grants will help approximately 2,600 counselors receive the instruction and certification necessary to effectively assist families with their housing needs. These grants, totaling $3 million, were awarded to two national organizations.

"This Administration strongly believes in the value of housing counseling services," said Jackson. "These organizations help families make informed choices before they take the important step of homeownership. They also provide a service that is vital in today's mortgage market � they counsel families facing foreclosure and advise them about
their options."

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.

Of the more than $41 million in housing counseling grants, $3 million is being awarded in supplemental funding for
Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counseling. These funds 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 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. 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 on the rise 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 biennial 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; and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development, and enforces the nation's fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet

For more information, contact HUD Nashville Director, Bill Dirl at (615) 515-8510.


Note to editors: State-by-state breakdown of grant recipients is available on the HUD website. Detailed individual grant summaries are available on the HUD website.


Citizens for Affordable Housing
Nashville, TN
$34,461.63 - Comprehensive Counseling

Citizens for Affordable Housing, is a nonprofit community based organization providing a vast array of social services to include mortgage default, pre-purchase, and credit counseling. The agency has been assisting clients in their community for over 18 years. Through both self-contained programs, as well as programs provided through collaborations with other agencies, the center offers a variety of services and activities and serves many citizens. During the previous 2005-2006 HUD fiscal year, Citizens for Affordable Housing provided assistance to 349 clients.

GAP Community Development Resources, Inc.
Franklin, TN
$20,000.00 - Comprehensive Counseling

GAP Community Development Resources, Inc. (GAPCDR) is a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation that originated from a church ministry to provide money management and home buying opportunities workshops and classes. In response to the limited and in some cases unmet needs of homebuyer counseling GAPCDR partnered with the Williamson County Habitat for Humanity to teach budgeting basics. GAPCDR has been approved as a trainer agency under the
Tennessee Home Buyer Education Initiative of the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) to provide homebuyer education services to those of the community in need. During the previous fiscal year, 221 individuals
were counseled on their housing counseling needs.

Vollintine Evergreen Community Association CDC
Memphis, TN
$38,077.04 - Comprehensive Counseling

VECA Community Development Corporation (VECA) is a 501c (3) nonprofit corporation. A community housing development Organization (CHDO) has also been formed to work closely with the CDC and its housing committee. VECA's mission is to preserve and enhance a diverse, inclusive, stable, historic, urban neighborhood through the support of its volunteers. Goals specific to the program include: increasing homeownership, reducing dilapidated housing, and improving conditions of the neighborhood at the block level. During the previous 2005-2006 FY 164 clients were assisted through the counsel of the Vollintine Evergreen Community Association CDC.

West Tennessee Legal Services, Inc.
Jackson, TN
$1,118,533 - Comprehensive Counseling

West Tennessee Legal Services (WTLS) is a private nonprofit organization affiliated with Legal Services Corporation and a HUD-approved regional housing counseling intermediary. In collaboration with 20 affiliates with 107 offices in
8 states, WTLS provides clients with uniform access to housing counseling and educational services in underserved rural areas and those areas most affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Affiliates provide comprehensive housing counseling programs including pre-purchase counseling, first-time home
buyer education, mortgage default counseling, landlord/tenant counseling, and homelessness counseling with the
goal of promoting and ensuring equal housing rights and opportunities for all individuals residing within these areas.

Woodbine Community Organization
Nashville, TN
$27,230.82 - Comprehensive Counseling

The Woodbine Community Organization (WCO) is a nonprofit community based organization providing a vast array of social services. The organization, which has a history dating as far back as the 1930s, was incorporated in 1985. In 1989, it opened the Woodbine Community Center. Through both self-contained programs, as well as programs provided through collaborations with other agencies, the center offers a variety of services and activities and serves over 5000 citizens. In addition to these services, WCO is a nonprofit housing developer, having developed over 125 single-family homes. WCO also owns and operates 148 rental properties. WCO is a HUD approved housing counseling agency providing a variety of housing counseling services. During the previous 2005-2006 HUD fiscal year, WCO provided assistance to some 1,273 clients.


Content Archived: March 15, 2011