“HUD-approved housing counselors are on the front lines, guiding people through their first home purchase and the ups and downs of homeownership,” says HUD Secretary Ben Carson. “Their efforts give families a real opportunity to realize their dream of owning a home is obtainable by offering advice on affordable rental housing, home financing, and tools to prevent foreclosure.”
The grants will go toward supporting housing counseling services within 31 national and regional organizations, six multi-state organizations, 19 state housing finance agencies, and 207 local housing counseling agencies. Grant recipients will use the funds to address low- and moderate-income families’ housing needs, such as evaluating their readiness for a home purchase, helping them to understand financing and down payment options, and navigating the home buying process. The organizations will also help households find affordable rental housing and identify ways to repair any credit problems that may be restricting their housing choices. They also assist homeless people find transitional housing and senior citizens who are seeking reverse mortgages.
HUD and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia have published recent research that shows housing counselors provide significant benefits for first-time home buyers and families who are struggling to prevent foreclosure.