The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced that $79 million is available for a broad range of housing counseling programs to help families find and preserve housing. The available funding is an increase of $21 million, or 36 percent, over last year. These grants will be awarded competitively to hundreds of HUD-approved counseling agencies and State Housing Finance Agencies across the nation that offer a variety of services including how to avoid foreclosure, how to avoid mortgage scams, how to purchase or rent a home, how to improve credit scores, and how to qualify for a reverse mortgage.
"The counseling programs this funding will support are crucial in helping thousands of families avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "Every day, our HUD-approved counseling organizations help families to make more informed choices about buying or renting."
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 $55 million for comprehensive counseling; $9.5 million for Reverse Mortgage Counseling, and $14.5 million for supplemental funding for Mortgage Modification and Mortgage Scam Assistance. There will also be a heightened focus on providing services in languages other than English.
National and regional agencies distribute much of HUD's housing counseling grant funding to HUD approved community-based housing counseling organizations that provide advice and guidance to low- and moderate-income families seeking to improve their housing conditions. These larger organizations help improve the quality of housing counseling services and enhance coordination among their counseling providers. In addition, HUD approved counseling agencies provide services in a variety of languages to meet to the needs of the population in the service area as well as ensuring communications and access is provided for persons with disabilities.
HUD will award grants to approximately 550 applicants. Instructions are posted on Grants.gov. To apply, go to https://apply07.grants.gov/apply/forms_apps_idx.html and enter 14.169 in the CFDA field. Applications must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov. The application deadline is 11:59:59 pm eastern time on August 27, 2010. If applicants have difficulty accessing the information, they may obtain assistance by calling the help desk hotline at 800-518-GRANTS or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org The Grants.gov help desk is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week, except federal holidays.