The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced on Thursday that $40.05 million of housing counseling funds will be available for fiscal year 2012, $4 million of which is earmarked for reverse mortgage counseling.
Grants will be awarded competitively to the hundreds of HUD-approved counseling agencies and State Housing Finance Agencies across the nation that offer a variety of services, including pre-application reverse mortgage counseling and foreclosure avoidance counseling.
“The HUD-approved counseling programs this funding will support not only help families make more informed choices about buying or renting, it is crucial in helping thousands of families avoid foreclosure and remain in their homes,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan in a statement. “We fought hard to persuade Congress to restore funding for housing counseling in HUD’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget and I’m pleased that they did so. We will now work to make these important resources available to help families as quickly as possible.”
The department originally asked for $88 million in funding, which the FY 2011 Continuing Appropriations Act completely removed from the budget. In later budget bills, the Senate cut funding to $60 million, and last week, President Obama signed a spending bill approved by Congress that allocated $45 million of housing counseling assistance to HUD.
Out of that money, $40.05 million has now been made available for housing counseling, with the remaining funds meant for training (which will be announced in a future notice of funding availability) and for administrative contracts, according to a HUD spokesperson.
The bulk of the money will go to comprehensive counseling, at $36.05 million, with the other $4 million dedicated to reverse mortgage counseling.
HUD’s most recent prior funding grants allocated $9.5 million to reverse mortgage counseling.
Written by Alyssa Gerace