There are many times when, in the course of answering reader questions or discussing issues related to FHA loan prep, that we advise people to contact the FHA directly to request a referral to a HUD approved housing counselor. Housing counseling can be an important help 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.
HUD has announced additional funding for housing counseling. 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.”
“It is estimated HUDs housing counseling grants, 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, according to the press release.
“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.”
HUD will offer the $40 million grant funds 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.”
Do you need to be referred to a HUD-approved housing counselor in your area? Start by vewing HUDs website or call (800) 569-4287 for HUD’s interactive telephone directory. The press release urges people to download a free housing counseling iPhone app from the App Store (this applications is not yet available for Android devices).
Do you work in residential real estate? You should know about the free tool offered by FHA.com. It is designed especially for real estate websites; a widget that displays FHA loan limits for the counties serviced by those sites. It is simple to spend a few seconds customizing the state, counties, and widget size for the tool; you can copy the code and paste it into your website with ease. Get yours today: