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HUD   >   State Information   >   New Jersey   >   News   >   HUDNo.2013-06-18
HUD No. 13-10
Adam Glantz (212) 264-1100
Olga Alvarez (212) 542-7142
FOR RELEASE
Tuesday
June 18, 2013

HUD AWARDS OVER $675,000 TO NEW JERSEY IN HOUSING COUNSELING GRANTS

NEW JERSEY - 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 that 15 local nonprofit groups will receive $675,362 to carry out this important work. The award is part of more than $40 million in housing counseling grants awarded nationwide 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 will have a greater opportunity to find housing, make more informed housing choices or keep their current homes. (See below for a listing of New Jersey grantees.)

"Make no mistake: these grants will do a lot of good," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "The HUD-approved counseling agencies this funding supports are crucial in helping families manage their money, navigate the home buying process, and secure their financial futures. The evidence is clear that housing counseling works. These grants are a smart investment to help families and individuals find and keep housing which helps promote neighborhood stability in the long term."

More than $38 million in grant funds will directly support the housing counseling services provided by 27 national and regional organizations, 8 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.

Working in consultation with housing counseling industry stakeholders, HUD's new Office of Housing Counseling substantially streamlined the application process for these grants. A number of procedural improvements were made to the application process and program requirements, which encourage the development of efficient and effective counseling programs and reduce the administrative burden on applicants. 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. Read a summary of each grant, organized by state.

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.

Grant recipients utilize funding to address the full range of families' housing counseling needs. This includes helping homebuyers and homeowners realistically evaluate their readiness for a home purchase, understand their financing and downpayment options, and navigate what can be an extremely confusing and difficult process. Grantees also help households find affordable rental housing and offer financial literacy training to individuals and families struggling to repair credit problems that restrict their housing options. In addition to providing counseling to homebuyers and renters, these organizations assist homeless persons in finding the transitional housing they need to move toward a permanent place to live. Finally, grantees also assist senior citizens seeking reverse mortgages or Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM). These agencies provide counseling for the rapidly growing number of elderly homeowners who seek to convert equity in their homes into income that can be used to pay for home improvements, medical costs, and other living expenses.

Housing counseling agencies support fair housing by assisting borrowers in reviewing their loan documentation, to avoid potential mortgage scams, unreasonably high interest rates, inflated appraisals, unaffordable repayment terms, and other conditions that can result in a loss of equity, increased debt, default, and even foreclosure. Likewise, foreclosure prevention counseling helps homeowners facing delinquency or default employ strategies, including expense reduction, negotiation with lenders and loan servicers, and loss mitigation, to avoid foreclosure.

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 espanol.hud.gov. You can also follow HUD on Twitter at @HUDgov or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HUD, or sign up for news alerts on HUD's News Listserv
 

NEW JERSEY HOUSING COUNSELING GRANTEES

Atlantic Human Resources, Inc.
Atlantic City, NJ
$19,274 - Comprehensive Counseling
Atlantic Human Resources, Inc.(AHR) was established in 1964 as a Community Action Agency to assist low-income and disadvantaged citizens achieve self-sufficiency. Housing Counseling has always been a major part of AHR's administration. AHR has been providing Housing Counseling to the residents of Atlantic and Cape May County in excess of 29 years, and AHR has been providing HUD approved Housing Counseling since 2003 to the residents of Atlantic and Cape May Counties. The level of counseling activity has been increased drastically as the result of the overwhelming and unprecedented rise in residential mortgage foreclosures. AHR assists clients navigate through various federal and state programs assisting clients in best meeting their appropriate housing needs through education, information and direct intensive one-on-one counseling. AHR's motto is "Helping People Achieve" and the Housing Counseling Program intends on the clientele achieving their housing goals well into the future by providing Housing Counseling Services that improve the community quality of life and overcome impediments to fair housing. www.atlantichr.com

Senior Citizens United Community Services, Inc.
Audubon, NJ
$18,167 - Comprehensive Counseling
Senior Citizens United Community Service, Inc. (SCUCS) is a HUD-approved housing counseling agency providing HECM/Reverse Mortgage and General Housing counseling since 1990. SCUCS is a not-for-profit social service agency with 34 years of service to the community. SCUCS' mission is dedicated to: improving the quality of life for southern New Jersey's senior citizens, with particular emphasis on the frail and vulnerable and those with the greatest socio-economic needs. SCUCS provides counseling that includes locating, securing or maintaining residences in rental housing for senior and disabled county residents. Staff assists homeless applicants in securing shelter and services available through the staff's participation in the Homeless Network Planning Committee, a project of Community Planning and Advocacy Council (CPAC). Staff acts as an important gateway to local, State, Federal and private housing assistance. SCUCS created a computer data base that enables staff to input an applicant's housing priority list and compile a list of housing that meets these needs. Additional grants assist with fuel deliveries, back-bill utility payments, HVAC system repair/replacements and financial assistance with rental/security payments. The Housing Counseling Project is supported in part through county, State and Federal funds. www.scucs.org.

Tri-City Peoples Corporation
East Orange, NJ
$17,429 - Comprehensive Housing Counseling
Tri-City Peoples Corporation is a community development corporation providing comprehensive human services, housing counseling, housing development, economic development and community development services to low-income, moderate income and disadvantaged people in the Newark metropolitan area since 1966. A HUD-approved housing counseling agency since 2004, Tri-City provides comprehensive housing counseling services that include pre-purchase counseling, homebuyer education, delinquency/default counseling, and non-delinquency post-purchase counseling, reverse mortgage counseling, non-delinquency and delinquency post-purchase education, rental counseling, homeless/displacement counseling, credit counseling, disaster relief counseling and fair housing education. In addition, Tri-City provides comprehensive therapeutic and intensive case management services, mental health counseling and behavioral services, family reunification and engagement services through supervised and therapeutic visitation programs, foster care, transportation, NAEYC-accredited subsidized child care services, after school programs, youth development, transitional housing, affordable re-sales and rentals, home improvement/renovations, and community organizing,. The agency collaborates with faith-based organizations, other community-based organizations and public entities to coordinate fragmented public and private services within specific neighborhoods and throughout northern New Jersey. Tri-City's Mission is to facilitate social and economic self-sufficiency and to promote citizen civic participation in community development by providing exemplary services in education, employment and technological training, social services, health and mental health care, and housing that meets the needs of the residents and families in Newark, East Orange, Irvington and surrounding New Jersey communities. Website: www.tri-citypeoples.org

Affordable Housing Alliance, Inc.
Eatontown, NJ
$20,750 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Affordable Housing Alliance, formed in April 1991, is a private, nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization. The Alliance is a Community Housing Development Organization and also a NeighborWorks Charter Member. The Alliance's mission is to improve the quality of life for New Jersey residents by developing and preserving affordable housing, by providing services that maintain affordability, by providing housing education and by helping communities meet their legal and moral housing obligations. The Alliance has developed, renovated or constructed over $30 million worth of housing and has over three hundred and sixty affordable housing units in its management portfolio. The Alliance is a designated administrative agent providing services to townships and builders seeking compliance with the Fair Housing Act of NJ. The Alliance also provides a full range of counseling and educational services including pre-purchase counseling to assess an individual's mortgage readiness and prepare them for homeownership, mortgage delinquency counseling to assist homeowners in jeopardy of foreclosure and reverse mortgage counseling for seniors. The Alliance offers pre-purchase and post-purchase educational workshops as well. Finally, the Alliance administers the TRUE Energy Assistance Program and assists homeowners applying for other utility assistance programs. The agency provided housing counseling services to over 900 households during HUD Fiscal Year 2012. For more information visit the agency's website at www.housingall.org.

Garden State Consumer Credit Counseling, Inc. D/B/A/ Novadebt
Freehold, NJ
$248,948 - Comprehensive Counseling
Novadebt, a Garden State Consumer Credit Counseling 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, is committed to assisting families and individuals in need by providing free financial education, community outreach and housing and credit counseling services. Nationally, Novadebt provides a wide range of services including its core services of budget counseling, financial education, Debt Management, bankruptcy pre-petition counseling and pre-discharge education and housing counseling in the areas of pre-purchase/homebuyer education, default/foreclosure prevention, and reverse mortgages. This extensive range of programs and services enables Novadebt to address a multitude of consumer needs. Novadebt' s main office is located in Freehold, NJ. Novadebt is approved by HUD as a National Intermediary and accredited by the Council on Accreditation. The agency provided housing counseling services to over 75,000 households during HUD Fiscal Year 2012. For more information visit the agency's website at www.novadebt.org

The Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey
Hackensack, NJ
$20,381 - Comprehensive Housing Counseling
The Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey ("Council" "FHC") is a private, non-profit 501(c) (3) Qualified Fair Housing Organization and has served as a HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agency for over 20 years. The Council was founded in 1959 as a grassroots organization located in Bergen County, NJ. Today, the Council operates as a full service comprehensive housing counseling and enforcement agency. The Council's primary service area remains Northern New Jersey, but the impact of its programs can be felt throughout the state and across the nation. The Fair Housing Council is one of the oldest and most respected fair housing organizations in the United States. The Council's officers and Board of Trustees are composed of business and community leaders, clergy, representatives of local organizations, attorneys and people interested in making fair housing a reality for everyone. The Fair Housing Council works with HUD, the Bergen County Community Development Office, New Jersey Division of Civil Rights, and other government agencies upon request. The board and staff of the Fair Housing Council are committed to the theme that Equal Opportunity in Housing is the American way. The agency provided housing counseling services to over 600 households during HUD Fiscal Year 2012. For more information visit the agency's website at www.fhcnnj.org.

Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling, Inc.
Marmora, New Jersey
$65,074 - Comprehensive Counseling
Consumer Credit and Budget Counseling (CCBC) d/b/a National Foundation for Debt Management (NFDM) of Marmora, New Jersey, is a highly respected and efficient credit and housing agency with a long-term commitment to building and maintaining homeownership. NFDM, a non-profit credit and housing counseling agency, was organized in 1999, has been a national leader in Reverse Mortgage (HECM) counseling through its partnership with the National Council on Aging (NCOA), a HUD Intermediary. In 2011 CCBC combined with NFDM and now is approved as a Multi-State Organization (MSO) with three branches, two located in New Jersey and one in Clearwater, Florida. The combined organization continues to be a national leader in Reverse Mortgage (HECM) counseling and serves two "Hardest Hit" states with teams of trained and certified default and foreclosure prevention counselors that provide clients with education, foreclosure and default counseling. A member of the Association of Credit Counseling Professionals and accredited by the Council on Accreditation, NFDM offers an online Homebuyer education class that meets the guidelines of the National Industry Standards for Housing Education and Services. NFDM maintains three websites for consumer education and information, www.nfdm.org, www.cc-bc.com and www.homebuyercert.org.

Housing Authority of the City of Paterson
Paterson, NJ
$19,274 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Housing Authority of the City of Paterson (HACP) is the third largest public housing authority in the State of New Jersey. The Authority owns and operated 1,198 units of public housing, of which 680 are elderly units, and administers 2,287 Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers. As one of Paterson's principal housing agencies, the HACP's mission is to provide leadership, policies and programs to expand and preserve safe and affordable housing opportunities and promote strong communities. The HACP has been a HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agency since June 2000, with a HUD Approved Section 8 Homeownership Program since April 2001. It is the Authority's goal to expand and preserve homeownership for low-to-moderate income individuals and families by initiating homebuyer education group sessions, pre-purchase counseling, mortgage default/delinquency and post purchase counseling and education. In addition, combating mortgage fraud is a priority in the HACP's housing counseling program. Teaching families what mortgage fraud is, how to protect themselves against it and offering reputable sources of assistance are key elements in the education process. Additional information on HACP is available at: http://www.patersonhousingauthority.org/

Paterson Task Force
Paterson, NJ
$13,000 - Comprehensive Counseling
In 1964, the Paterson Task Force (PTF) began as the official community action agency of the City of Paterson, New Jersey. Its mission is to deal with not only emergencies caused by poverty, but to promote self-sufficiency as a way out of poverty problems for the citizens of Paterson and surrounding Passaic County. PTF has delved into the very root of the causes of poverty; such as a decline in adequate health care, neighborhood decay, untreated substance abuse, falling wages, the shutting down of factories and industries, high unemployment, and a steady rise in homelessness. Paterson Task Force came from a world of disabling poverty to create a system for educating, training and developing sustainable self-sufficiency in its clients. PTF provides services ranging from assessing the needs of the community to employment training, home energy assistance, weatherization, credit counseling, home buyer counseling and training to child care, and so much more. The Paterson Task Force is committed to continuing as a viable resource for those needing a helping hand to find a house and make it a home. www.patersontaskforce.org

The Housing Authority of the City of Perth Amboy
Perth Amboy, NJ
$20,750 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Housing Authority of the City of Perth Amboy is a Public Housing Authority providing affordable, safe, decent housing in the City of Perth Amboy for over 70 years. In addition to providing housing services, the agency assists families and the community to become economically self-sufficient. Services provided include pre-purchase and post-purchase housing education and counseling, mortgage delinquency prevention and resolution education and counseling, rental counseling, financial literacy and credit education and counseling, Section 8 homeownership program, Family Self-Sufficiency Program and a one-stop job search center. These services ensure that the community continues to produce economically self-sufficient families, knowledgeable consumers, and successful homeowners. The Authority serves over 2000 families each year.

The Puerto Rican Association for Human Development, Inc.
Perth Amboy, NJ
$15,952 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Puerto Rican Association for Human Development, Inc. (PRAHD) was founded in 1974. PRAHD is dedicated to developing human potential and promoting self-sufficiency through programs designed to improve the social, economic, health and educational status of the community in a culturally sensitive environment. In 2011, PRAHD grew and expanded to become a HUD-certified Housing Counseling Agency. The agency operates 13 programs offering multiple services for more than 17,000 unduplicated clients annually throughout Middlesex and Union counties. PRAHD employs 57 staff members and it also relies on the support of volunteers who work in all areas of agency operations. PRAHD's programs and services include: a full time pre-school, tutoring and after school programs, housing assistance programs which include foreclosure and pre/post purchase counseling, summer youth programs, HIV/AIDS educational services, substance abuse prevention, employment for senior citizens, assisted transportation, language translation and interpretation, advocacy, home care for homebound individuals, youth work readiness programs, diabetes programs, child safety program, child abuse and blindness prevention programs and various recreational, social, and cultural activities. For more information visit the agency's website at www.prahd.org.

Central Jersey Housing Resource Center
Raritan, NJ
$21,119 - Comprehensive Counseling
The Central Jersey Housing Resource Center (CJHRC) was founded in 1987 in response to the need for affordable housing in Somerset County, New Jersey, one of the most expensive counties to live in the nation. Central Jersey HRC's mission is to be the leader in providing housing counseling and information and referral services to meet the needs of very-low, low- and moderate- income people looking for affordable housing. CJHRC provides outreach programs and services that result in acceptance, recognition and availability of quality affordable housing. Since 1993, CJHRC has increased the number of individual clients served from 688 to an average of over 2,500 per year. CJHRC assists clients in overcoming significant housing issues and being better prepared to compete for the limited affordable housing opportunities in the region. CJHRC specializes in intensive one-on-one services, including mortgage default counseling, pre- and post-purchase counseling, rental counseling, financial education and credit counseling. CJHRC also provides group education targeted to low- and moderate-income families with credit problems or difficulties in securing and maintaining rental housing, as well as courses for potential first-time homebuyers. For more information visit the agency's website at www.cjhrc.org.

O.C.E.A.N., Inc.
Toms River, NJ
$17,798 - Comprehensive Counseling
Since 1965, O.C.E.A.N., Inc. has been the designated Community Action Agency for Ocean County's low- to moderate-income residents. The agency's mission is to provide comprehensive services that improve the quality of life for individuals and families and assist them in moving toward self-sufficiency. O.C.E.A.N., Inc. has provided Housing Counseling to the community for thirty-five (35) years. O.C.E.A.N., Inc. is a HUD certified Housing Counseling Agency and has provided housing counseling services and maintained appropriate records in an exemplary manner. O.C.E.A.N., Inc. programs are continually evolving in response to the results of the Community Assessment the agency performs yearly. Services currently include: Head Start, a free, federally funded pre-school program for income eligible families. Centers are located in Brick, Barnegat, Berkeley, Manchester, Toms River, Tuckerton and a delegate center in Lakewood. See www.oceaninc.org

New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency
Trenton, NJ
$155,232 - Comprehensive Counseling
The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) was created in 1983 and is dedicated to increasing the availability of and accessibility to safe, decent and affordable housing to families in New Jersey. HMFA is a self-sustaining, quasi-public agency, financed primarily through the private sale of federal tax-exempt Mortgage Revenue Bonds, offering programs for first time homebuyers, senior citizens, and housing for the disabled in our special needs communities. Annually, HMFA is committed to creating, preserving and/or rehabilitating nearly 2,000 units of affordable housing, 1,600 of which are rental, 400 are homeownership units, and 300 are set aside for individuals with special needs. In addition, approximately 900 single family mortgages for homebuyers are financed, 700 of which are for first-time and urban area homebuyers. www.njhmfa.org

North Hudson Community Action Corporation (NHCAC)
Union City, New Jersey
$15,214 - Comprehensive Counseling
North Hudson Community Action Corporation (NHCAC) was founded in 1965 as a community action agency (CAA) to address the immediate needs of low-income residents, and continue assistance until stability and eventual self-sufficiency is achieved. Today, NHCAC is the largest and only CAA/Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in the State of New Jersey. Its mission is "To promote and improve the quality of life, and eliminate factors leading to poverty for northern New Jersey residents by providing comprehensive health and social services with compassion, through collaborations and partnerships in a culturally sensitive environment." In pursuit of achieving this mission, NHCAC's program offerings have expanded to encompass some 15 integrated programs and services: women's health, pediatrics, adult/internal medicine, mental and behavioral health, dental care, homeless supportive services, HUD's Continuum of Care transitional and Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing (HPRP) services, 36 affordable housing units, a Veterans 18 unit supportive services housing program ("Homes for Heroes"), emergency assistance (food, shelter, and utility payments), 25 Head Start classrooms, job placement, pre-purchase housing counseling/tenant advocacy, immigration assistance, addiction services, senior citizens services, and WIC nutritional assistance. These services are provided from 23 strategically located facilities and 2 mobile medical and dental vans. In 2012 the Agency served more than 94,600 unduplicated clients/patients who received approximately 429,157 services. www.nhcac.org.