To make National Homeownership Month even more noteworthy, the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded $42 million in housing counseling grants to hundreds of national, regional and local organizations.
The grants, which were announced at a White House gathering to commemorate the month-long theme of “Dare to Own the Dream,” aim to help more than 1.4 million households with various housing needs, including reverse mortgage counseling.
HUD research published last month found that counseling improves housing outcomes for homebuyers, homeowners and renters.
“Housing counselors provide potential homeowners with the tools they need to ensure they’re ready and responsible,” said Julian Castro, HUD secretary. “Their efforts give countless families a real shot at the american dream of homeownership. The counseling organizations HUD supports are on the front lines of providing the full spectrum of services households need—from locating affordable rental housing, offering advice on how to become a homeowners and preventing foreclosure.”
Of the $42 million, $40 million will directly support counseling services provided by 31 national and regional organizations, five multi-state organizations, 17 State Housing Finance Agencies (SHFAs) and 181 local housing counseling agencies.
The remaining $2 million will be used for training housing counselors at national organizations to effectively assist families with their housing needs.
Recipients of the grant provide families with a full range of counseling services, which includes helping homebuyers evaluate if they are ready to purchase a home and understand financing and downpayment options to eliminate as much confusion as possible.
For renters, the organization helps families find affordable rental housing and provide financial literacy training to those struggling with credit issues that may restrict their housing options.
These organizations also help assist homeless people to find transitional housing until they find a permanent place to live and assist seniors seeking reverse mortgages.
Written by Alana Stramowski