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WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Oct. 20 awarded more than $12.5 million in supplemental housing counseling grants. 

According to a release, Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling Inc., of Marmora, will receive roughly $37,000 of this funding. 

These supplemental grants will support quality housing counseling services, including the foreclosure avoidance and rental counseling services used by many families as they work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants awarded will directly support the housing counseling services provided by 219 HUD-approved local housing counseling agencies, national and regional organizations, and state housing finance agencies (SHFAs) who competed under HUD’s FY 2020 Supplemental Comprehensive Housing Counseling Grant Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) or HUD’s FY 2019/2020 Comprehensive Housing Counseling NOFA.  

“This funding comes at exactly the right time to support the nation’s homeowners and renters who are struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and who can benefit from the assistance of a housing counselor to remain in their homes,” stated HUD Secretary Ben Carson.  

“During the pandemic, housing counseling agencies have been critical in assisting renters and homeowners here in the nation’s epicenter of New York and New Jersey,” stated Lynne Patton, HUD regional administrator for New York and New Jersey. "Housing counselors provide a vital role on a variety of housing matters, including negotiating payment plans with landlords, assisting seniors with reverse mortgages, avoiding foreclosure actions and much, much more.”  

HUD-approved housing counseling agencies provide services to address a full range of housing counseling needs. This includes assisting homebuyers in evaluating their readiness for a home purchase and navigating through the home buying process.  

Nearly half of the state and local counseling agencies that were awarded HUD grants received preference because they will provide counseling to individuals and families within designated opportunity zones.  

“Our hope is that those affected by the pandemic who need housing help will reach out to qualified housing counseling professionals to help them understand what their options are,” stated Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Dana Wade. “The grants awarded today will help housing counseling agencies assist a greater number of clients who are seeking assistance.”  

HUD-approved housing counseling agencies also help households find affordable rental housing, offer financial literacy training to individuals and families, and provide foreclosure prevention counseling. In addition to providing counseling to homeowners and renters, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies support emergency preparedness and disaster recovery efforts, assist homeless persons in finding transitional housing, and help seniors determine whether a reverse mortgage makes sense for them.  

In Fiscal Year 2019, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies served 1,015,911 households. Approximately 52% of those households were minorities, including 38% who identified as African American, 19% who identified as Hispanic, and 10% who identified as multiple races. There are many ways to locate a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.  

Visit HUD's website or call (800) 569-4287 for its interactive telephone directory. 

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