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A local, HUD-approved housing counseling agency can be very helpful for a borrower in the planning stages of a new purchase home loan, or a credit-check-required FHA mortgage loan refinance. Housing counseling can be valuable, especially for first-time home buyers.

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HUD Announces Additional Funds for Housing Counseling Grants

April 13, 2016

A local, HUD-approved housing counseling agency can be very helpful for a borrower in the planning stages of a new purchase home loan, or a credit-check-required FHA mortgage loan refinance.

Housing counseling can be helpful for people–especially first time home buyers–who aren’t sure whether they qualify for an FHA mortgage or how to get started preparing for one. Are you worried about credit issues? Not sure how to budget for the new loan? A housing counselor can help, and FHA borrowers can get started working with housing counselors via referrals from the FHA directly by calling the number provided at the end of this article.

Unfortunately, not all housing counseling is free, but HUD has announced additional funding for these services. According to a press release issued Friday February 19, 2016, “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced it is making $40 million in grants available to support hundreds of housing counseling organizations across the country that assist families, including those buying their first home, struggling to locate affordable rental housing or seeking to avoid foreclosure.”

HUDs housing counseling grants, the press release states, and the additional funding they leverage, will reach more than 1.5 million households” through a network of approximately 300 national, regional and local organizations.

“We know that housing counseling can make all the difference in purchasing and, most importantly, keeping a home, HUD Secretary Julian Castro, who was quoted in the release. He adds, The grants we offer today will help ensure families and individuals make more informed housing decisions, whether it means buying their first home, avoiding foreclosure, or finding affordable rental housing.”

There is about $40 million grant funds being provided to help directly support “the housing counseling services provided by national and regional organizations, multi-state organizations, State Housing Finance Agencies (SHFAs) and more than 200 local housing counseling agencies that assist low- and moderate-income families improve their housing conditions. Grant winners use the money to help homebuyers evaluate if they are ready to buy a house, understand their financing and down payment options, and navigate what can be an extremely confusing and difficult process.”

Borrowers who want to be referred to a HUD-approved housing counselor in their local area can look at the HUD official website (www.HUD.gov) or call (800) 569-4287 and use HUD’s telephone directory to reach a HUD rep who can make the referral.

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