Nearly 910,000 individuals and families will have a greater opportunity to find housing or keep the homes they have because of more than $36 million in housing counseling grants announced by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson.
Seven Washington organizations were successful in winning $907,909 of that national grant and plan to use the funding to provide housing counseling and homebuyer education statewide (see table below). Funded services include homebuyer education, pre-purchase, pre-occupancy, rent delinquency counseling, and post purchase/mortgage default counseling.
John Meyers, HUD’s Seattle Regional Office Director, said he was “pleased with the Washington awards because these outstanding credit, financial, and homebuyer education programs will serve to strengthen families, neighborhoods, and whole communities throughout the state.”
“HUD’s Housing Counseling program plays a key role in support of the President’s goal,” said Jackson. “Under this Administration, more families are receiving counseling services than ever before and more families are purchasing and keeping their homes. In addition, this program is also helping more families find the help they need to secure decent and affordable rental housing.”
Grantees will assist unwary borrowers avoid predatory lending practices such as unreasonably high interest rates, inflated appraisals, unaffordable repayment terms, and other conditions that can result in a loss of equity, increased debt, default, and even foreclosure. Some of the grantees will provide counseling for Section 8 Homeownership Voucher recipients.
The organizations that provide housing counseling services help people become or remain homeowners or find rental housing. HUD-funded housing counseling agencies also assist homeless persons to find the transitional housing they need to move toward a permanent place to live.
HUD awards annual grants under the housing counseling program through a competitive process. Organizations that apply for grants must be HUD-approved and are subject to biennial performance reviews to maintain their HUD-approved status.
HUD is the nation’s housing agency committed to increasing homeownership, particularly among minorities, creating affordable housing opportunities for low-income Americans, and supporting the homeless, elderly, people with disabilities and people living with AIDS. The Department also promotes economic and community development as well as enforces the nation’s fair housing laws. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov or espanol.hud.gov.
SOUTH SOUND GRANT RECIPIENTS
Lakewood Pierce County Department of Community Services $ 40,000
Silverdale Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority $ 60,000
Tacoma Consumer Counseling Northwest $ 86,612