Biden-Harris Administration Awards Millions to Expand Housing Counseling for Underserved Communities 

Today, VP Kamala Harris and HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman announced that the Biden-Harris Administration will provide approximately $40 million to extend comprehensive housing counseling services for homebuyers, homeowners, and renters across the country. These grants, administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development‘s (HUD) Office of Housing Counseling, will provide counseling services that provide individuals and families with critical education and tools to help them make informed decisions about their housing needs and prospects. The VP and Acting Secretary will highlight the increased funds while in Milwaukee for the third stop on the Vice President’s statewide Economic Opportunity Tour.

“Homeownership represents more than just a roof over our heads; it represents financial security, the opportunity to build wealth and equity, and a foundation for a better future for ourselves, our children, and future generations,” said VP Harris. “That is why President Biden and I are continuing to address barriers to housing by announcing $40 million to expand housing counseling services in communities across the country. This new funding to more than 165 housing counseling agencies will build economic opportunity while helping homebuyers throughout America improve their credit, find down payment assistance programs, understand loan terms and types of mortgages, navigate the application process, and identify housing discrimination.”

HUD intends to provide funding to more than 165 housing counseling agencies and intermediary organizations. Fourteen grantees will also collaborate with 60 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions to assist new homeowners of color and other marginalized populations. Funds can be utilized to provide counseling services on a variety of issues, including financial management and literacy, homeownership, and affordable rental housing. For example, one of the grantees, Unidos US, wants to provide routes for Latino homeowners to build credit, afford a down payment, and get approved for a long-term mortgage.

“This past year, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies reached almost one million Americans, providing them with invaluable advice on important topics like financial literacy, maintaining a home, and avoiding foreclosure,” said HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman. “Today, we are providing $40 million more to expand these services – specifically for underserved communities – so we can build the next generation of homeowners and close the racial homeownership gap.”

While in Milwaukee, VP Harris and Acting Secretary Todman will discuss the significance of these monies as well as the Biden-Harris Administration’s overall efforts to reduce housing prices for American consumers. HUD anticipates that more than $300,000 of this new funds will benefit Wisconsin customers. The Biden-Harris Administration and HUD have already assisted almost 35,000 Americans in Wisconsin through this initiative, with 19,000 of them living in Milwaukee.

Currently, these counseling programs serve almost 12,000 families in Wisconsin, with Black families accounting for 40% of the total. Three housing counseling agencies will be present: Acts Housing, Housing Resources Inc., and United Community Center.

“We’re proud to make these funds available to HUD-certified housing counselors, who are often the first point of contact for those seeking support with their housing needs,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing Counseling David Berenbaum. “Given the rising costs of housing, coupled with limited available inventory, housing counseling is a critical resource for homebuyers and renters seeking to navigate challenging processes and decisions.”

To read the full release, click here.

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Demetria C. Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for MortgagePoint (formerly DS News and MReport) with more than eight years of writing and editing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is a jazz aficionado, Harry Potter fanatic, and likes to read. She can be reached at demetria.lester@thefivestar.com.
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