$130 Million in Grants will Support Families Facing Foreclosure


Funding will go to 130 state and private organizations to provide housing counseling to help keep families in their home

February 27, 2008 (Washington D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Kit Bond (R-MO), Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Congressmen John Olver (D-MA 1st) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI 9th) announced $130 million in federal funding that will go to130 housing counseling entities across the nation. The funding was part of the Consolidated Appropriations bill passed by Congress at the end of last year.

 The $130 million in grants being announced will go to 134 national, regional, state, and local counseling agencies.  That includes 32 state housing finance agencies, 17 HUD-approved counseling agencies, and 85 NeighborWorks organizations.

 “The grants we’re making available will give counseling agencies the resources to reach out,” said Senator Murray. “They will help make sure that families – who risk losing everything – get the help they need before it’s too late. Our economic health depends on Americans having a safe and stable place to live and raise their families. Today we’re helping struggling families keep their homes.”

“Too many Missouri families are feeling the pain of this housing crisis,” said Senator Kit Bond.  “These counseling funds will help families find solutions to avoid foreclosure and keep their homes.  This is a good first step but more needs to be done and I will continue to fight for these struggling families and neighborhoods.”

Sen. Cochran said: “I am pleased these funds will be used to assist those who have suffered as a result of the recent housing crunch.  It is important to ensure that Americans with financial distress are given sound advice that will mitigate, rather than magnify, the effects of recent trends.”
“This is the first time that federal funds have been targeted at foreclosure mitigation assistance,” said Rep. Olver. “It is unprecedented to gtet 130 million out the door in 60 days and Neighborworks has done a tremendous job getting this funding into the places that need it most.”

 “Congress continues to address the subprime mortgage meltdown,” said Rep. Knollenberg. “While preventing future homeowners from entering into bad mortgages, we should look to what we can do now for those that already have mortgages close to foreclosure.  The majority of people want to avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes.  This money is not a bailout.  Rather, its money that will be used to help homeowners avoid foreclosure.” 

“NeighborWorks America is pleased to work with Congress and the Adminstration to help prevent home foreclosures,” said NeighborWorks America CEO Kenneth D. Wade. “Counseling is one of the most cost effective tools to help stop the spread of the current crisis, and this important new funding made available within the 60-day timeline will provide foreclosure counseling to hundreds of thousand families across the nation.”

The funding will be used to provide housing counseling to homeowners that have fallen behind in their mortgages. Counseling has helped many families keep their homes or avoid foreclosure by providing services including negotiations with lenders, formulating repayment plans, locating non-profit assistance, and suspension or reduction of payments.

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