HUD Awards $9.5 Million in HECM Counseling Grants, Increase of 21%

The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced nearly $73 million in counseling grants that will go to more than 500 national, regional and local organizations to help families find decent housing and to prevent future foreclosures.

Of the $73 million, HUD is providing $9.5 million in HECM counseling grants, an increase of 21% from 2010.  During a call with the media last week, Brian Siebenlist, Deputy Director and Program Support for the Office of Single Family Housing told RMD the amount of money going to fund HECM counseling is actually much greater.

“The bulk of these awards are what we call comprehensive housing counseling grants, and reverse mortgage counseling is an eligible expense under those grants as well,” he said.  “So our investment is way bigger than the $9.5 million.”

In addition to counseling for reverse mortgages, the grants will assist families to become first-time homeowners and remain 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.

“These organizations are on the front lines of helping families who are desperate to remain in their homes,” said  Shaun Donovan, Secretary for HUD. “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.”

NeighborWorks America received $4.9 million in HECM counseling grants, followed by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling ($1.6 million), Credability ($1.47) and Money Management International ($1.4 million).

For the full list of counseling grant recipients, see here.

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