FORT WORTH, TX – October 15, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Texas families facing foreclosure, seeking affordable rental housing, or hoping to buy their first home will have a greater opportunity to find housing, or keep the homes they have, because of $2,934,197 in housing counseling grants announced today by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (See attached list for grantees, amounts and program summaries).
“Now, more than ever, it is crucial that Americans understand how to manage their money, how to navigate the homebuying process, and how to secure their financial future.” said Donovan. “This critical funding will help counseling organizations continue to assist families in making more informed choices before they buy a home and counsel families facing foreclosure.”
Housing counseling grants will assist families in becoming first-time homeowners and remaining homeowners after their purchase. HUD-approved counseling agencies not only provide homeownership counseling, but also offer financial literacy training to renters and homeless individuals and families.
In addition, grantees help combat predatory lending by helping unwary borrowers review their loan documentation, and avoid unreasonably high interest rates, inflated appraisals, unaffordable repayment terms, and other conditions that can result in a loss of equity, increased debt, default, and even foreclosure. And foreclosure prevention counseling helps homeowners facing delinquency or default to employ strategies, including expense reduction, negotiation with lenders and loan servicers, and loss mitigation that can avoid foreclosure. With foreclosures at critical levels nationwide, these services are more important than ever.
The funding announced today is part of $60 million in housing counseling grants awarded nationwide. These grants will support the direct provision of housing counseling services by 24 national and regional organizations, five multi-state organizations, and 463 state and local housing counseling agencies. In addition, HUD is awarding $5 million to three national organizations to train approximately 4,400 counselors who will receive the instruction and certification necessary to effectively assist families with their housing needs.
National and regional agencies, such as Money Management International, Inc, in Houston, which received $2,115,560 in grants, distribute much of HUD’s housing counseling grant funding to community-based grassroots organizations that provide advice and guidance to low- and moderate-income families seeking to improve their housing conditions. In addition, these larger organizations help improve the quality of housing counseling services and enhance coordination among other counseling providers.
HUD awards annual grants under the housing counseling program through a competitive process. Organizations that apply for grants must be HUD-approved and are subject to biennial performance reviews to maintain their HUD-approved status. The Texas grantees are:
|TEXAS-National and Regional Grantees|
|Houston||MONEY MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL INC.||$931,154.00|
|Houston||MONEY MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL INC.||$1,184,406.00|
|Austin||AUSTIN TENANTS’ COUNCIL||$20,000.00|
|Austin||FRAMEWORKS COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION||$58,456.00|
|Bellaire||UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY OF GREATER HOUSTON, INC.||$44,472.00|
|Dallas||CCCS OF GREATER DALLAS, INC.||$250,625.00|
|Dallas||CCCS OF GREATER DALLAS, INC.||$50,000.00|
|Dallas||JORDAN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION||$28,740.00|
|Fort Worth, TX||CITY OF FORT WORTH HOUSING DEPARTMENT||$40,976.00|
|Houston||AVENUE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION||$45,000.00|
|Lubbock||NORTH & EAST LUBBOCK COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION||$32,236.00|
|San Antonio||CITY OF SAN ANTONIO/DEPT. OF COMMUNITY INITIATIVES-FAIR HOUSING||$53,212.00|
|San Antonio||OUR CASAS RESIDENT COUNCIL, INC.||$33,984.00|
|Uvalde||COMMUNITY COUNCIL OF SOUTHWEST TEXAS, INC.||$30,488.00|
|Uvalde||FUTURO COMMUNITIES, INC.||$40,976.00|
|Waco||WACO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION||$40,000.00|
|Waco||WACO COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION||$5,000.00|
|Weslaco||TEXAS RIO GRANDE LEGAL AID||$44,472.00|
Money Management International, Inc. (MMI)
$931,154 – Comprehensive Counseling
$1,184,406 – HECM Counseling
Money Management International, Inc. (MMI) is a nonprofit, community service organization that provides comprehensive housing counseling, professional financial guidance, counseling, community-wide educational programs, and debt management assistance. A HUD-approved national housing counseling intermediary, MMI and its family of agencies has over 45 years experience helping consumers regain financial control of their lives. Through its network of over 125 local branch offices serving 24 states, MMI provides services including mortgage delinquency/default counseling, pre-purchase counseling, homebuyer education, reverse mortgage (HECM) counseling, and rental counseling.
Austin Tenants’ Council
$20,000 – Comprehensive Counseling
The Austin Tenants’ Council (ATC) was founded in 1973 through the hard work and diligence of community activists and VISTA Volunteers. Through its tenant/landlord and fair housing programs, ATC provides important housing services to inform and protect the rights of low-income and minority residents in the Austin MSA. These services support its mission to ensure that all people have the right to a safe, decent and affordable home. Under this year’s grant, the ATC will continue the expansion of its services to assist persons that live in underserved areas of Austin and elsewhere in Texas. The program will provide counseling, education and mediation to help protect tenant rights and to provide information on opportunities for homeownership.
Frameworks Community Development Corporation, Inc.
$58,456 – Comprehensive Counseling
Frameworks Community Development Corporation (Frameworks) is a leader in homebuyer counseling and foreclosure intervention counseling in central Texas and is an active partner with the City of Austin Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department in counseling and educating potential homebuyers, with an emphasis on lower income families. The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs has contracted with Frameworks to provide foreclosure intervention counseling services through the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program. All services are provided in both English and Spanish.
United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Houston, Inc.
$44,472 – Comprehensive Counseling
United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Houston, Inc. (UCP Houston) is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing innovative services, including affordable housing, to people with disabilities and their families in Houston and surrounding communities. Since 1946, UCP Houston has offered a wide variety of programs including respite services, adult recreation, summer camps, infant development intervention, high school vocational/technical programs, and assistive technology resources to the Houston area. UCP Houston provides housing services to first-time homebuyers with disabilities in the City of Houston as well as in Harris, Montgomery and Ft. Bend Counties through its Housing Initiative. Through the Housing Initiative, UCP Houston provides education and counseling, credit and debt reduction counseling, post-purchase counseling and support, emergency financial assistance, down payment/closing cost assistance, as well as funding for accessibility-related modifications.
CCCS of Greater Dallas
$250,625 – Comprehensive Counseling
$50,000 – Loan Document Review Counseling
CCCS of Greater Dallas, Inc. (CCCS) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization headquartered in Dallas, Texas, with a staff of nearly 200 located in 22 branch offices in Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma. CCCS provides HUD-approved housing counseling services to clients nationwide with default counseling service through the Homeownership Preservation Foundation and Homeowners HOPE hotline, and Reverse Mortgage counseling services through the agency’s intermediary, the NFCC. CCCS offers services by phone, online, or face-to-face. Since the agency opened its doors in 1974, nearly one million persons have been served. For further information, visit the agency’s website.
City of Fort Worth
Fort Worth, TX
$40,976 – Comprehensive Counseling
One of the housing goals in the City’s 2005-2010 Consolidated Plan was to “preserve, improve and expand affordable rental and owner-occupied housing in accordance with the City’s Comprehensive Plan.” The City’s object is to increase the homeownership rate and, in support of that goal, the City’s Housing & Economic Development Department, through its Housing Services and Information Division (HS&I), has provided comprehensive housing counseling services and homeownership training since 1994. The HS&I is approved by the U.S. Department of HUD as a housing counseling agency in 1997. HS&I’s counseling services complement the City’s Homebuyers’ Assistance Program which provides closing cost and down payment assistance to first-time homebuyers. For further information, visit the City of Fort Worth’s website.
Avenue Community Development Corporation
$45,000 – Comprehensive Counseling
In 1991, a group of neighbors created an organization to develop affordable housing, preserve historic buildings, and revitalize the Old Sixth Ward, a National Register Historic District in the shadow of Houston’s Downtown. Old Sixth Ward CDC was operated entirely by volunteers for the first four years. Since then, the agency’s staff has grown to eight full-time employees and the Board of Trustees now includes 19 community leaders. At the request of civic organizations from surrounding neighborhoods, the agency had expanded its target area to include the near Northside and Washington Avenue communities by 1999. The agency changed its name to Avenue CDC to reflect this expanded focus. Today, Avenue CDC’s mission is to revitalize its community by developing affordable housing and economic opportunities while preserving the cultural, economic, and historical diversity of the area served by the agency.
North & East Lubbock Community Development Corporation
$32,236 – Comprehensive Counseling
Founded in 2004, the North and East Lubbock Community Development Corporation (NELCDC) provides its clientele with homebuyer education, pre- and post-purchase counseling, renter assistance, and money/debt management counseling. The NELCDC is responsible for providing housing counseling services to 71 counties located in the 13th and 19th Congressional Districts of Texas.
Jordan Community Development Corporation
$28,740 – Comprehensive Counseling
The Jordan Community Development Corporation (JCDC) is a HUD-approved Local Housing Counseling Agency and a nonprofit 501(c)(3) community-based organization located in Dallas, Texas since 1995. Since its inception, the JCDC has implemented programs designed to impact and empower families in both the acquisition and retention of homes. The agency promotes financial literacy by providing knowledge and wealth-building skills through its Home Buyers/Owners Program (HBOP). The HBOP has assisted over 70 families to become first-time homeowners and over 80 families facing foreclosure to keep their homes. For additional information and news, visit the agency’s website.
City of San Antonio/Department of Community Initiatives/Fair Housing
San Antonio, TX
$53,212 – Comprehensive Counseling
The City of San Antonio’s housing counseling program provides comprehensive housing counseling services to residents of San Antonio and Bexar County and has been providing those services as a HUD-approved housing counseling agency since 1979. The services offered by the agency include the following: foreclosure prevention counseling, pre- and post–purchase housing counseling, emergency financial assistance for mortgage payments, mediation of tenant/landlord disputes, reverse mortgage counseling, predatory lending counseling, homeless/displacement counseling, and housing discrimination/Fair Housing Act outreach and investigation. The agency’s housing counseling program builds partnerships with local housing providers, government agencies and nonprofits to identify housing needs and to provide assistance to households in crisis.
Our Casas Resident Counsel
San Antonio, TX
$33,984 – Comprehensive Counseling
Our Casas, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and a Community Housing Development Organization, was organized and chartered in October of 1990. The mission at Our Casas Resident Council, Inc. (Our Casas) is to develop and implement initiatives for the empowerment of low-income families. Our Casas’ goals are to assist low-income families in moving toward the social and economic mainstream of employment and home ownership. During its nineteen year history, it has been fulfilling its mission by providing at no cost to families, one-on-one housing counseling, homebuyer education seminars, foreclosure intervention/prevention, downpayment/closing costs financial assistance and rental assistance to over 5,000 low-to moderate income families.
Community Council of Southwest Texas, Inc.
$30,488 – Comprehensive Counseling
The Community Council of Southwest Texas, Inc. (CCSWT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has been chartered with the State of Texas since April 1965. CCSWT has 25 years of experience administering housing programs in the areas of homebuyer assistance, rehabilitation and self-help while also offering the Bootstrap and the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Programs. All these programs provide assistance to potential homeowners in purchasing homes and in assisting current homeowners preserve their homes through home rehabilitation/repairs. CCSWT is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency that provides assistance to low-income families and to the community at-large in the eight-county service area known as the Middle Rio Grande region in rural Southwest Texas.
CCSWT offers a full range of education and counseling services, from pre-purchase to Mortgage Delinquency/Default. For more information the agency can be contacted by email.
FUTURO Communities Inc.
$40,976 – Comprehensive Counseling
FUTURO Communities Inc., is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization serving a five-county area –Uvalde, Maverick, Dimmit, Zavala, and LaSalle counties – which was created in 1999 to capitalize on an Enterprise Community/Empowerment Zone status conferred by the federal government. The agency’s focus is regional job creation, economic development, business expansion, workforce skills training, homeownership counseling, credit counseling, and assistance to low-income families through housing options. The agency administers programs that include down payment assistance to first-time low income homebuyers; mutual self-help home construction programs, where the new homeowners participate in the construction of their home through volunteer time (similar to Habitat for Humanity model); and credit counseling for potential homebuyers. The agency also administers a small business start-up revolving loan fund to help entrepreneurs start or expand businesses. For further information, visit the agency’s website.
Waco Community Development Corp.
$40,000 – Comprehensive Counseling
$5,000 – Loan Document Review Counseling
Waco Community Development Corporation (d/b/a Waco CDC) is a neighborhood-based CHDO and HUD-approved housing counseling agency that was established in 2001. The comprehensive housing counseling services offered include pre-purchase counseling, credit counseling, loan document review, financial literacy training, homebuyer education training, mortgage preparation assistance, counseling to resolve/prevent mortgage delinquency or default, post-purchase counseling and post-purchase education. Waco CDC serves Waco, Texas and the surrounding area.
Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid
$44,472 – Comprehensive Counseling
Incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1971, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid (TRLA) provides free legal aid and related education services. TRLA’s service area, about the size of Colorado, spans 68 counties covering the southwestern third of Texas. Each year TRLA serves over 22,000 residents of these communities; hard-working minimum-wage earners, survivors of domestic violence, victims of employment discrimination, abused seniors, persons with disabilities, homeless persons, victims of crime, and countless others, people who are not able to afford legal assistance even when in desperate need. TRLA will provide guidance and advice to help families access affordable housing and preserve homeownership. TRLA housing counselors will help these families avoid inflated appraisals, unreasonably high interest rates, unaffordable repayment terms, predatory lending, “contract for deed” rent-to-own contracts, discriminatory housing practices, default and foreclosure, and other housing counseling issues. For additional information, please visit the agency’s website.