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HUD issues $10M in counseling grants to ‘combat homeownership gap’

The funding will be distributed to 23 HUD-approved counseling agencies nationwide

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Monday the availability of $10 million in new grants to be distributed to 23 HUD-approved counseling agencies nationwide, which will help the department boost homeownership rates within historically underserved communities.

Announced Monday morning in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, by Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner Julia Gordon, the funds “will support activities by these agencies to prepare and equip prospective homebuyers to successfully navigate the homebuying process” so they can locate affordable homes, HUD explained.

Gordon made the announcement from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, which will receive “more than $479,000 through this funding opportunity to support their network of affiliates in delivering homeownership counseling programs to underserved communities throughout the state,” HUD stated.

“Housing counseling agencies play a unique and critical role in helping first-time homebuyers achieve homeownership,” said Commissioner Gordon. “Today’s grant awards will help housing counseling agencies throughout the country reach those who may never have believed they could own a home and help them to prepare for, enter into, and maintain homeownership.”

David Berenbaum, HUD’s deputy assistant secretary for housing counseling, added that this program will play a key role in linking prospective homebuyers who are part of historically underserved communities with resources they may have been previously unaware of or had not been able to access easily.

“We intend to make this initiative a model for the funding of future programs that can directly and effectively serve first-time homebuyers in underserved communities,” he said. “New homeowners will have the benefit of both pre- and post-purchase housing counseling from a trusted advisor: the HUD Certified Housing Counselor.”

A full list of the 23 beneficiary organizations is available on HUD’s website. The largest beneficiary is the Massachusetts-based Neighborhood Stabilization Corporation, which will receive just under $1.2 million. The second-largest disbursement will go to the New York-based National Urban League, which will receive $986,260.

Last week, HUD announced a final rule designed to expand support for housing counseling services within Native American tribal communities.

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