""HUD"":http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page/portal/HUD recently announced the availability of $79 million in grants for a broad range of housing counseling[IMAGE]
programs to help families find and preserve housing. This represents an increase of $21 million, or 27 percent, over last year's funding.
According to HUD, these grants will be awarded competitively to approximately 550 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,[COLUMN_BREAK]
how to purchase or rent a home, how to improve credit scores, and how to qualify for a reverse mortgage.
HUD said this year'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. In addition, the department said there will be a heightened focus on providing services in languages other than English.
""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.""
According to HUD, national and regional agencies will distribute much of the 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. HUD said these larger organizations help improve the quality of housing counseling services and enhance coordination among their counseling providers.