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HUD Region VI: 13-65
Patricia Campbell/Scott Hudman
(817) 978-5974/(713) 718-3109
Twitter: @HUDSouthwest
FOR RELEASE
Tuesday
June 18, 2013

LOUISIANA TO RECEIVE OVER $215,000 FOR HOUSING COUNSELING
Funding part of $40 Million effort to support hundreds of counseling agencies nationwide

NEW ORLEANS – As part of its continuing effort to assist families and individuals with their housing needs and to prevent future foreclosures, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) today announced $218,261 in grants to Louisiana Housing Finance Corporation in Baton Rouge. Nationally, more than $40 million was awarded to 334 national, regional and local organizations.

As a result of these grants and the additional funding they help leverage, more than 1.6 million households nationwide will have a greater opportunity to find housing, make more informed housing choices or keep their current homes.

“The evidence is clear that housing counseling works,” said HUD Acting Regional Administrator Mark Brezina. “The HUD-approved counseling agencies this funding supports are crucial in helping families manage their money, navigate the homebuying process, avoid foreclosure and secure their financial futures.”

Agencies use their grants to address the full range of families’ housing counseling needs. This includes helping homebuyers navigate the homebuying process; helping households find affordable rental housing; offering foreclosure prevention counseling; offering financial literacy training to individuals and families struggling to repair credit problems that restrict their housing options; assisting homeless persons in finding transitional housing; and counseling senior citizens seeking reverse mortgages or Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM).

Housing counseling agencies also support fair housing by assisting borrowers in reviewing their loan documentation to avoid potential mortgage scams. See below for the LHC Program Description:

Louisiana Housing Corporation
Baton Rouge, LA
$218,261.00--Comprehensive Counseling

The Louisiana Housing Corporation was established in 1980 pursuant to the Louisiana Housing Finance Act contained in Chapter 3-A of Title 40 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, as amended. The enacting legislation grants the Agency authority to undertake various programs to assist in the financing of housing needs in Louisiana for persons of low/moderate incomes. LHC specializes in forming partnerships with federal, state and local governmental units, banks, lending institutions and non-profit and for-profit developers to make housing affordable for Louisiana’s families. These partners utilize LHC’s financial and technical assistance programs to reach out to the individual homeowner or renter. LHC’s mission is to increase substantially the availability of affordable, accessible, decent, safe, and sanitary residential housing in the State for persons and families of low or moderate income, senior citizens, and persons with disabilities, by encouraging private enterprise and investors to sponsor, build and rehabilitate residential housing for such persons and families; to coordinate housing programs administered by the state or its agencies; to make available additional financial resources and technical skills in local communities; to mobilize the capacity of the private sector, including non-profit community housing development organizations to provide a more adequate supply of such housing; to provide state leadership in the furtherance of these goals as an instrumentality of the State of Louisiana.

Of the $40 million awarded today, more than $38 million in grant funds will directly support the housing counseling services provided by 27 national and regional organizations, eight multi-state organizations, 22 State Housing Finance Agencies (SHFAs) and 277 local housing counseling agencies. In addition, HUD is awarding $2 million to two national organizations to train housing counselors who will receive the instruction and certification necessary to effectively assist families with their housing needs.

HUD awards annual grants under the housing counseling program through a competitive process. Organizations that apply for grants must be HUD-approved and are subject to monitoring and oversight to maintain their HUD-approved status.

National and regional agencies distribute much of HUD’s housing counseling grant funding to community-based organizations that assist low- and moderate-income families to improve their housing conditions. In addition, these larger organizations help improve the quality of housing counseling services and enhance coordination among counseling providers.

HUD studies show the effectiveness of housing counseling. Last year, HUD released two reports on the impact of HUD-approved housing counseling for families who purchase their first homes and those struggling to prevent foreclosure. In both studies, HUD found housing counseling significantly improved the likelihood homeowners remained in their homes.

HUD’s new mobile app allows smartphone and tablet users to locate housing counselors in their own area.

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HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on twitter @HUDgov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s Email List.