Some $47 million of funding has been earmarked by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to go towards providing housing counseling grants. The money will be used to help around one million low income households avoid foreclosure or find new housing.
HUD Secretary Ben Carson announced the new funding initiative, saying that HUD-approved housing counselors serve on the “front lines” and help to guide people through the ups and downs of home ownership and their first home purchases.
“[counselors] 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,” Carson said.
The proposed grants are designed to support housing counselors across 31 national and regional organizations, six multi-state organizations, 19 state housing finance agencies and 207 local housing counseling agencies, the HUD said.
The find will be used primarily to address low and moderate-income families’ housing needs, which includes an evaluation of their readiness to buy a home. Other areas of focus will be helping families to understand their financing and down payment options, and navigating the home buying process.
In addition, the organizations that receive funding will also be asked to help families find affordable rental homes, and identify ways to repair any credit problems they may have that harm their ability to obtain financing for a home.
Last, the organizations will also try to assist homeless people in finding transitional housing, plus senior citizens who’re considering a reverse mortgage.
The grants come shortly after the HUD and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia published a study that shows how housing counselors can provide significant benefits for first time buyers and families fighting to prevent foreclosure.
The full list of counseling agencies that have been granted funding is available here.