Aiming to “help families and individuals with their housing needs and to prevent future foreclosures,” the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded more than $40 million in grants to hundreds of housing counseling agencies across the country.
More than $38 million will support the housing counseling services provided by 29 national and regional organizations, seven multi-state organizations, 22 state housing finance agencies and 232 local housing counseling agencies.
HUD will also grant $2 million to three national organizations to be used to train housing counselors. The training will provide the counselors with the necessary certification to “effectively assist families with their housing needs,” HUD stated.
“These grants are an essential tool to help families find suitable housing or to keep the homes they have,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “HUD-approved counseling agencies use this funding to support a wide range of services from assisting lower income persons to locate an affordable apartment to helping first-time homebuyers avoid unsustainable mortgages.”
HUD anticipates the housing counseling grants, “and the additional funding they help to leverage,” will assist more than 1.5 million households find housing, make informed housing choices, or keep their current homes.
HUD said the national and regional counseling agencies distribute much of HUD’s grant funding to community-based organizations that assist low- and moderate-income families to improve their housing conditions.
According to HUD, the grant recipients will utilize the grant funds to address the full range of families’ housing counseling needs. This will include helping homebuyers and homeowners realistically evaluate their readiness for a home purchase, understand their financing and down payment options, and navigate what can be “an extremely confusing and difficult process.”