LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today awarded more than $12.5 million in supplemental housing counseling grants, including nearly $867,000 throughout Michigan.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority in Lansing received $211,291 of that amount.
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.
“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,” said HUD Secretary Ben Carson.
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 homebuying 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,” said 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.
“These grants ensure that homeowners and renters alike can receive assistance from HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and make smart housing choices,” said HUD Midwest Regional Administrator Joseph P. Galvan.
In Fiscal Year 2019, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies served 1,015,911 households. Approximately 52 percent of those households were minorities, including 38 percent who identified as African American, 19 percent who identified as Hispanic, and 10 percent who identified as multiple races.