HUD Offers $58M For Counseling


S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has made $58 million available for housing counseling programs, the agency announced Tuesday. The funding is an increase of $11 million, or 23%, over last year. These grants will be awarded competitively to approximately 400 HUD-approved counseling agencies and state housing finance agencies that offer a variety of services, including how to purchase or rent a home, how to avoid foreclosure, how to improve credit scores and how to qualify for a reverse mortgage. ‘Now, more than ever, it is crucial that American families make informed decisions about their housing choices,’ says HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. ‘These counseling agencies are also vital to the success of the president's Making Home Affordable plan, which is helping families avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes.’ HUD-approved counseling agencies provide homeownership counseling, as well as financial literacy education, to renters and homeless individuals and families. This year, HUD's Housing Counseling Grant program will provide approximately $47 million for comprehensive counseling; $8 million for reverse mortgage counseling, $2 million for supplemental funding for loan document review counseling, and $1 million in supplemental funding for fair lending and mortgage fraud analysis and counseling. 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. In addition, these larger organizations help improve the quality of housing counseling services and enhance coordination among their counseling providers, HUD says. SOUR

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