HUD increases support for housing counselorsby Tim Manni
Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, recently announced that HUD will increase the financial support they provide to housing counselors across the country in an effort to increase education and foreclosure prevention:
In an effort to help families find decent housing and to prevent future foreclosures, the Obama Administration today announced nearly $73 million in housing counseling grants to more than 500 national, regional and local organizations. As a result of the funding announced today, hundreds of thousands of households will have a greater opportunity to find housing or keep the homes they have because of the housing counseling and counseling training grants awarded today by U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan.
The grants announced today represent a $13 million, or 22 percent increase over last year’s funding level. In announcing the grant awards, Donovan said HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are a critical part of the nation’s housing recovery.
Should they have gotten more?
Lawmakers have grown more critical of federally-funded programs and initiatives these days due to our country’s ever-expanding deficit. But that said, given the foreclosure crisis in this country, and given the fact that the federal modification effort has failed to help even a quarter of those it set out to assist, I wonder if HUD should have opened up their wallets a little wider and offered even more support to the housing counselors.
I understand that the latest grants are an increase in comparison to that of last year, but judging by Donovan’s words alone, housing counselors are essential to keeping families in their homes (something this country hasn’t really succeeded at as of late):
“These organizations are on the front lines of helping families who are desperate to remain in their homes,” said Donovan. “Now, more than ever, it’s crucial that we support these agencies that are working with struggling families on a one-to-one basis to manage their money, navigate the homebuying process, and secure their financial futures.”
Furthermore, I also wonder if more support was given to increase the number of counselors, or more of their efforts were directed at helping borrowers navigate and oversee the federal modification effort, that housing would be in a better place than it currently is…
Can anyone out there share with us their experience of working with a housing counselor? If so, leave us a comment below.