Nearly $73 million ($13 million, or 22 percent increase over last year’s funding level) in housing counseling grants will go to more than 500 national, regional and local organizations.
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.
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.
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.
Note: Would any of these funds for programs be necessary if the mortgage industry properly policed itself and there were plenty of reputable landlords of low income housing? Of course, the tenant has to cooperate and treat the property with reasonable care…
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