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HUD awards $40 million in housing counseling grants

 

WASHINGTON – May 23, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded more than $40 million in grants to hundreds of national, regional and local organizations to help families and individuals with their housing needs and to prevent future foreclosures. HUD says the counseling grants – and the additional funding they help leverage – will help more than 1.5 million households find housing, make more informed housing choices or keep their current homes.

"HUD-approved counseling agencies use this funding to support a wide range of services from assisting lower income persons to locate an affordable apartment to helping first-time homebuyers avoid unsustainable mortgages," says HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan.

In Florida, 31 local home counseling agencies will receive funding. Nationwide, more than $38 million will directly support the housing counseling services provided by 29 national and regional organizations, seven multi-state organizations, 22 State Housing Finance Agencies (SHFAs) and 232 local housing counseling agencies.

In addition, HUD is awarding $2 million to three national organizations to train housing counselors who will receive the instruction and certification necessary to effectively assist families with their housing needs.

Florida agencies funded

Apopka

Homes in Partnership: $13,411

HUD description: Homes In Partnership Inc.'s (HIP) mission is to provide low-income families with safe and decent affordable housing, and to improve economic conditions within the communities the agency serves. Since 1975, HIP has provided over 3,600 families in Orange, Lake and Sumter counties with single-family housing through its mutual self-help housing program. To ensure participation goals are met, homebuyers work in groups under the direction of construction supervisors who are on site to assist with and monitor "sweat equity" requirements. Education and counseling services are offered through HIP's HUD-approved housing counseling program, in order to help qualify applicants to obtain government-subsidized mortgage loans. Clients involved in credit counseling attend workshops and meet with counselors on an individual basis. Information on predatory lending is strongly emphasized in counseling and homebuyer education classes. Each homebuyer receives one-on-one counseling and is required to attend pre-purchase and post-purchase home-buyer education workshops. HIP's counseling classes meet the guidelines of local government for certifying homebuyers for down-payment assistance through SHIP, CDBG, and other programs.

Bradenton

Manatee Community Action Agency Inc.: $13,612

HUD description: Manatee Community Action Agency Inc. is a 501(c)(3) agency organized to combat poverty in Manatee, Hardee and DeSota counties in Florida. Since 1968, MCAA has worked to develop, plan implement and evaluate programs to serve low-income people and the community. The mission of MCAA is "Helping people, changing lives in their community through education, partnerships, and the delivery of quality services." Housing counselors meet client goals to obtain and maintain safe and affordable long-term housing. The housing counseling services proposed under this grant include: pre-purchase counseling; resolving/preventing mortgage delinquency or default counseling; non-delinquency post purchase counseling; rental counseling and shelter services for the homeless counseling.

Clearwater

Bright Community Trust: $12,202

HUD description: Pinellas Community Housing Foundation was formed in May 2008 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity for providing long-term affordable housing. The Board of County Commissioners authorized the creation of the Community Housing Program and authorized the Housing Finance Authority to utilize land trusts as a vehicle to facilitate affordable housing in Pinellas County. The primary role of the trust is to preserve subsidies of federal, state and local funds that either created or preserved the housing as perpetually affordable by utilizing a 99-year ground lease. To assist Tampa Bay residents, Bright Community Trust provides a full-range of homeownership promotion and preservation programs that include: pre- and post-purchase education and counseling and subject specific seminars.

Davie

Crisis Housing Solution: $14,885

HUD description: In 2005, Adopt a Hurricane Family (AHF) (now Crisis Housing Solution) was founded in response to the Gulf Coast devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Shortly thereafter, families affected by Hurricane Wilma in South Florida were added to the cause. After diligently working to assist approximately 375 families with temporary and permanent housing solutions, AHF expanded its mission in 2009 to assist those adversely affected by any disaster – natural, manmade or economic. With this came a name change to Crisis Housing Solutions (CHS). Since inception, CHS has successfully provided housing assistance to over 2,300 families. Community collaboration has been integral to these outcomes. Starting in February 2010 CHS began offering services as a HUD Housing Counseling Agency, including mortgage delinquency/default counseling, first-time homebuyer assistance and general homelessness services. Then in March 2011 CHS launched the Community Stabilization Initiative whereby foreclosed homes are acquired and rehabbed. This helps stabilize neighborhoods, and the homes are used as a new source of affordable housing for low-to-moderate income families. Since the program's inception, 34 homes have been rehabbed and sold.

Daytona Beach

Mid-Florida Housing Partnership Inc.: $15,268

HUD description: Mid-Florida Housing Partnership (MFHP), Inc. was formed in 1989 to address the needs of low-income households to access and retain affordable housing and to address economic upward mobility for residents of Volusia County. It has since expanded to Flagler County. MFHP provides rental housing to low income clients as well as constructing homes for disabled clients to serve as permanent rental units. The housing counseling program consists of pre-purchase, homebuyer education, delinquency, default, post-purchase and foreclosure counseling. It provides on a monthly basis, courses in financial literacy, foreclosure prevention, and budget and credit counseling.

Fort Lauderdale

Consolidated Credit Solutions Inc.: $29,946

HUD description: Consolidated Credit Solutions Inc. (Consolidated Credit) was originally founded in 1983 as a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping residents of Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties manage their finances and achieve affordable and sustainable homeownership. In 2011, Consolidated Credit reorganized with a refocused mission. Housing counselors have worked with more than 12,500 individuals who desired to achieve the American Dream of homeownership by either preventing foreclosure or by being able to purchase a home. In 2013, the organization assisted 2,821 clients through its counseling and education programs.

Fort Myers

Affordable Homeownership Foundation Inc.: $18,064

HUD description: Affordable Homeownership Foundation was incorporated in 2000 and received final 501(c)(3) status in 2001 and has been in continuous operation since. AHF was formed with the mission to educate and motivate the economically vulnerable veterans and consumers of our community to take the steps necessary to reach for, and achieve financial literacy and establish strong financial goals, thus maintaining and obtaining the American Dream of homeownership through advocacy, education, counseling and grant assistance and supportive housing for persons with disabilities, and housing counseling. An additional purpose of the corporation is to preserve the quality and affordability of future housing for very low, low, and moderate-income residents of the community including performing and/or assisting to perform activities associated with the NCST. AHF provides the following counseling services: pre purchase/home buying, financial education, post purchase foreclosure prevention/intervention, credit, budget and transitional counseling services.

Fort Myers

Lee County Housing Development Corporation: $15,671

HUD description: Lee County Housing Development Corporation (LCHDC) was incorporated in 1991 and received final 501(c)(3) status in 1992. LCHDC was formed with the mission and purpose of providing neighborhood-based affordable housing, including housing for low to moderate income-households, affordable rental housing, supportive housing for persons with disabilities, and housing counseling. In addition, the corporation preserves the quality and affordability of future housing for very low, low, and moderate-income residents of the community, including performing and/or assisting with the performance of activities associated with the Community Land Trust. LCHDC provides the following counseling services: pre purchase/home buying, financial education, post purchase foreclosure prevention/intervention, and credit counseling services.

Jacksonville

Black Bottom Springfield Human Development Corp. D/B/A St. Joseph Homeownership: $13,209

HUD description: St. Joseph Homeownership Ministry (SJHM) is a subsidiary of Black Bottom/Springfield Human Development Corporation (BBSHDC), which provides education and counseling for current and prospective tenants and homeowners. BBSHDC was founded in 1997 and has facilitated several afterschool youth programs. In 2008, BBSHDC created St. Joseph Homeownership to meet the needs of individuals following the mortgage crisis. The agency's mission is "to empower individuals through knowledge, using precepts and examples, so they can make sound financial decisions in homeownership and tenancy." SJHM provides group education and individual counseling sessions in the following areas: pre-purchase, post-purchase, home preservation-foreclosure intervention, and financial fitness. Services are available by phone, web conference and/or face-to-face in English, Spanish, French-Creole, or American Sign Language.

Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville Inc.: $12,605

HUD description: Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville Inc. (HabiJax) has been a HUD approved housing counseling agency since 2009. Its mission is to serve low to moderate-income residents of Jacksonville, Florida through the delivery of comprehensive housing counseling services. The agency offers pre-purchase, mortgage delinquency/default, post-purchase and rental counseling services. The agency has helped make the dream of homeownership a reality by delivering affordable single-family homes with zero-interest mortgages. In 2006, HabiJax received from Habitat for Humanity International, the prestigious Affiliate of the Year award. And, in 2009, Habitat for Humanity International recognized HabiJax as one of the Top 25 affiliates in the United States. The agency served 765 clients under HUD's housing counseling program during FY 13.

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Inc.: $14,104

HUD description: Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Inc. (JALA) is the local non-profit legal aid service provider for Northeast Florida and has been the legal advocate for low-income families and individuals since 1979. Advocates are committed to providing counseling and legal services to low-income neighborhoods, families and individuals. The mission of JALA is to obtain and provide high quality legal assistance to low income and other special needs groups and to stimulate and empower groups of poor people to accomplish energetic and affirmative advocacy, all to alleviate the circumstances, incidents and causes of poverty. Since 1996, JALA has been designated by HUD as a Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) and approved counseling agency established to enforce the fair housing laws through education, investigation and enforcement in the Florida counties of Duval, Clay, Nassau and St. Johns. Affordable housing services include group and individualized housing and financial counseling including financial literacy, predatory lending avoidance and advocacy, first time home buyers courses, foreclosure prevention, and preserving affordable housing by assisting other non-profits specifically addressing affordable housing issues.

Lake Alfred

Agricultural and Labor Program, Incorporated: $12,964

HUD description: The Agricultural and Labor Program Incorporated (ALPI) was established over 45 years ago to provide support services to farmworkers and their families. Since its inception, ALPI has grown into a multi-million dollar non-profit organization that provides a wide variety of services to low income families, farmworkers, and the local community. As a community action agency, ALPI's mission is "to propose, implement, and advocate developmental and human service delivery programs for the socially and economically disadvantaged, children and families, and farmworkers." ALPI has provided an array of services to families throughout the State of Florida. Such services included utility assistance to more than 17,500 families; Head Start/Early Head Start Services to almost 900 families; vocational training to 280 individuals and affordable housing, through financial assistance, housing counseling, and/or foreclosure mitigation to 235 families.

Lauderdale Lakes

Broward County Housing Authority: $16,847

HUD description: Broward County Housing Authority (BCHA) was founded in 1969 and has been a HUD approved housing counseling agency since 1987. BCHA's mission is dedicated to creating, providing and increasing high-quality housing opportunities to Broward County residents through effective and responsive management and responsible stewardship of public and private funds. The BCHA housing counseling program provides comprehensive, one-on-one counseling services to Broward County residents in the areas of pre-purchase, mortgage default and foreclosure prevention; and also conducts monthly workshops for first-time homebuyers.

Melbourne

Community Housing Initiative Inc.: $12,851

HUD description: Community Housing Initiative Inc. (CHI) is a certified community housing development organization, a community development corporation, and a 501(c)(3), charitable non-profit housing provider that has been established since 1992. CHI has demonstrated capacity in the development of affordable housing in the community. CHI is dedicated to assisting in the provision of affordable housing to the residents of its community. The mission of CHI is committed to assisting the residents of this community in attaining the American dream of homeownership. CHI provides the following types of housing counseling services: homebuyer education workshops; pre-purchase counseling; and non-delinquency post purchase counseling. CHI administers down-payment and closing costs assistance programs for several municipalities within Brevard County. The programs assist very-low, low and moderate-income households with financial assistance on the purchase of their first home. During FY 2013, CHI was able to assist 801 households into their first homes and provided 198 homebuyer workshops for over 4,928 potential buyers.

Naples

Housing Development Corporation of SW Florida Inc.: $13,185

HUD description: The Housing Development Corporation of SW Florida Inc. (HDC) exists to ensure all residents of Southwest Florida have access to safe, affordable housing. HDC's mission is to expand opportunities available to very low, low, and moderate income citizens and to raise economic, educational, and social levels of Southwest Florida residents. HDC was initially formed in 2003 as the Collier County Housing Development Corporation (CCHDC). There was a true need for affordable and workforce housing at this time, and the CCHDC was formed to assist with this need as a Community Housing Development Organization. HDC received 501(c)(3) status in 2004. As the economic climate and real estate market shifted, so did the need of the community. In 2009, the CCHDC officially changed its name to the Housing Development Corporation of SW Florida (HDC) to provide counseling to all of SW Florida. Housing Development Corporation of SW Florida, Inc. received initial HUD approval as a Housing Counseling Agency in May of 2009. The agency currently offers the following affordable housing services: financial management and budget, mortgage delinquency & default resolution and pre-purchase counseling, financial, budgeting, and credit repair, non-delinquency post-purchase education, predatory lending education and pre-purchase homebuyer education workshops.

Ocala

Ocala Housing Authority: $ 21,931

HUD description: The Ocala Housing Authority (OHA) has been serving Marion County in Florida for almost six decades by providing affordable housing opportunities and rental subsidies to families in need. OHA is providing direct financial assistance to approximately 1,400 low-income families, seniors and persons with disabilities through its rental subsidy (housing choice voucher &s 8) programs. OHA is the owner and manager of four housing complexes containing 186 public housing units and additional 40 open market-rate units that are not subsidized. To complement their rental programs, OHA has a progressive family self-sufficiency program, which provides the tools, resources and counseling to assist families with becoming economically self-sufficient, and free of government subsidies. OHA also has a homeownership program, which is highlighted by its 18-unit single-family affordable subdivision, Paradise Trails. Also, OHA has entered into a partnership with Marion County Habitat for Humanity to offer a Section 8 homeownership program to its joint clients. The agency is approved to provide pre-purchase counseling, resolving/preventing mortgage delinquency or default counseling, non-delinquency post-purchase counseling, rental counseling and shelter/services for the homeless.

Opa-Locka

Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation: $12,806

HUD description: Founded in 1980, Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation's mission is to improve the overall quality of life for the Opa-Locka/Miami Gardens community by providing affordable housing and supportive services for individuals and families, stimulating economic development, and empowering community residents to create wealth and participate in the community development process. OLCDC seeks to fulfill its mission by attracting and creating business opportunities in Opa-Locka/Miami Gardens; reducing unemployment among area residents; assisting in the area's commercial revitalization; constructing housing for low-to-moderate income families; and providing financial and housing counseling services. Since launching its housing counseling program, OLCDC has provided housing counseling services to more than 3,000 homeowners, first-time homebuyers, and renters in its target market of Opa-Locka as well as to other residents of Miami-Dade and South Broward counties for more than 31 years. The OLCDC has developed multi-family housing with a total of 1,955 units, at a cost of $120 million. The agency has constructed 118 single-family housing homes at a cost of $10 million and rehabilitated 61 homes for $3.5 million.

Orlando

Centro de Ayuda Para Los Hispana: $15,917

HUD description: The Hispanic Help Center is set out to serve anyone who needs its services, particularly low income families, the disabled, and the elderly. Since 2008, Hispanic Help Center has worked with families losing their homes to foreclosure, and families seeking their first home. The Hispanic Help Center has expanded its services to provide resources that also form an essential part of quality of life. Accesses to these resources are provided through a constantly expanding network of community services that can help families and individuals to improve their quality of life. The agency's housing counselors have years of experience and are certified by NeighborWorks America. The Hispanic Help Center has targeted its services to housing education and counseling and quality of life programs.

Pensacola

Community Enterprise Investments Inc.: $13,209

HUD description: Community Enterprise Investments Inc. (CEII) was incorporated in 1974. CEII's board of directors and its then grassroots membership established program priorities aimed at job creation through small and micro business lending and affordable rental and ownership housing. CEII's mission is to create and develop opportunities among low and moderate-income area residents for employment, business ownership and affordable housing. Its overall mission is to revitalize economically depressed neighborhoods and communities throughout a 22 county North Florida service area through a combination of small and micro business lending programs, affordable developments, and neighborhood/community improvement programs. Additionally, the organization emphasizes wealth building through education, as it relates to first time home purchases and financial management. CEII provides group and individual counseling for individuals who are seeking to purchase their first home, or improve their financial planning and management so that they can qualify for home purchase. CEII served 17,059 clients in fiscal year 2013.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of West Florida Inc.: $26,162

HUD description: Consumer Credit Counseling Service of West Florida Inc. (CCCS) serves as an independent local housing counseling agency. The organization is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization that has served consumers in the southeastern United States primarily in Southeast Alabama and Northwest Florida since 1975. The mission of the agency is to provide financial counseling, comprehensive housing counseling, consumer financial education and debt reduction services to all segments of the communities served regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or ability to pay for services. CCCS provides comprehensive housing counseling services in twelve cities, and serves twenty counties in the Southeast United States from the main office in Pensacola, Florida, and three satellite offices in Crestview, Fort Walton Beach and Panama City. Housing counseling services provided by CCCS include; pre-purchase/home-buying; resolving or preventing mortgage delinquency or default; fair housing; non-delinquency post-purchase; and reverse mortgage counseling. CCCS is funded by voluntary contributions from creditors, alliances, in-kind contributions, nominal fees for debt reduction services and grants.

Plantation

Dream Home Organization Inc.: $13,543

HUD description: DHO Inc., founded 2008, is an organization that empowers and educates people, leverages financial resources and partners with public, private and non-profit institutions to achieve homeownership for everyone. In 2008, DHO started the Foreclosure Intervention program in Broward County and the only one in the City of Plantation, helping over 80 clients that year and 8000 clients to date. As a member of HOPE Alliance, DHO entered into an alliance with Seven50 SE Florida Prosperity Plan, to promote a greener environment and housing. DHO is an adopter of the National Industry Standards for Homeownership and Education Counseling. The agency's mission is to maintain people in their homes and provide them with the tools and knowledge they need. As a multi-language agency, DHO strives to maintain the best quality of customer service.

Port Charlotte

Comprehensive Housing Resources (CHR): $14,305

HUD description: The core mission of Comprehensive Housing Resources (CHR) (f/k/a Solstice) is to provide families with services that will foster economic self-sufficiency, such as foreclosure prevention, financial education and training classes related to housing issues. In 2013, CHR's Strategic Plan defined its new name as more suited for the organization's outreach efforts. CHR staff and leadership have extensive experience in administering the various rounds of the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program, the Hardest-Hit Fund programs, the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation program and local self-sufficiency programs. The organization also provides various first-time homebuyer programs and credit repair sessions. CHR is an adopter of the homeownership national industry standards. It is a Department of Justice approved-agency offering pre and post bankruptcy-related courses and counseling sessions. CHR is also a military housing specialist agency. With the support of local government, CHR's leadership has administered local Neighborhood Revitalization Lease-to-Own programs. In addition, the organization is working with retired educators in developing a series of financial education interactive programs.

St. Augustine

St. Johns Housing Partnership: $13,008

HUD description: For 16 years, St. Johns Housing Partnership, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and United Way member, has addressed the need the affordable housing and affordable living in St. Johns, Clay and Putnam counties in Florida. Funding from individuals, private foundations, corporate donors and government, has helped to expand the score and geographic reach of its services. From a basic emergency repair program in St. Johns County, the SJHP has grown to provide a weatherization program, developed a green-certified development for first-time home buyers and created a growing counseling program which provides foreclosure and credit counseling. Most recently, SJHP designed and implemented a multi-family residential weatherization program that served 20 North Florida counties and weatherized over 1,200 units of low-income rental housing.

Sanford

The Center for Affordable Housing, Inc.: $11,352

HUD description: The Center for Affordable Housing Inc., (TCFAH) was established in 1981 in Sanford, Florida, with a mission to develop safe and affordable housing to help meet the needs of low-income residents of Seminole County. TCFAH has a thirty-year successful record of providing progressively comprehensive housing assistance and related services to a growing constituency that has expanded throughout Central Florida. TCFAH currently provides services to residents of Seminole, Orange, Lake, and Volusia counties. The TCFAH staff engages in outreach activities, which are intended to ensure greater access for underserved individual and communities. TCFAH operates partnerships with local social service agencies, other non-profits, and community organizations through mutual referral processes. The agency's housing counseling services proposed under this Grant include: pre-purchase counseling; resolving/preventing mortgage delinquency or default counseling; non-delinquency post purchase counseling; rental counseling and shelter/services for the homeless counseling.

Tallahassee

Tallahassee Urban League Inc.: $15,268

HUD description: The Tallahassee Urban League Inc. (TUL) was formed in 1969 for the purpose of providing community development, outreach activities and revitalization services in distressed communities within its reach. For more 44 years, TUL has provided outreach services to the most disenfranchised citizens in Florida's capital region in the areas of housing rehabilitation, housing counseling, youth crime prevention and intervention, education, job referral, victim support services, health promotion, and historic preservation in Greater Frenchtown. The mission of TUL is to enable African-Americans, other minority groups, and low-income families to realize their full potential and secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights through its various programs of housing, economic development, youth crime prevention, emergency food and shelter, health promotion, job referral, victim support services, and historic preservation. TUL has operated a comprehensive housing counseling program since 1979 serving Leon, Jefferson, Gadsden, Taylor and Wakulla counties, as well as other surrounding counties in North Florida and South Georgia. As a HUD approved housing counseling agency, TUL has provided assistance to over 20,000 clients. The strength to accomplish many of its goals has been built on strong partnerships and working relations with the local, state, and federal governments, local financial institutions, faith-based organizations, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Florida State University, private donors, and other non-profit agencies.

Tampa

Solita's House Inc.: $15,268

HUD description: Solita's House Inc. is a HUD approved housing counseling agency founded in June 2006. Solita's House was created out of the desperate need for additional educational classes and comprehensive housing counseling for low-to-moderate families in the area. Since its inception, this agency has been providing assistance to the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County and surrounding areas' low-to-moderate income residents. The mission is to build the capacity of the people and partners the agency serves in the areas of economic literacy coaching, homeowner education and community revitalization. The vision is to become a national leader in providing individuals and families with education, coaching and partner resources to promote positive financial behavior. To date, the agency has served over 3,800 households in the areas of financial counseling and education, which included 165 new homeowners totaling over $21 million in home sales.

Tampa Bay Community Development Corporation: $13,322

HUD description: Tampa Bay Community Development Corporation (CDC) is a private non-profit organization that was incorporated in 1982 with a mission to "promote homeownership opportunities to low and moderate income households in the Tampa Bay area." In 1994, Tampa Bay CDC began offering homebuyer education workshops, one-on-one pre-purchase and post-purchase counseling through its newly established Homebuyers Club (HBC). In 1999, Tampa Bay CDC was selected by Pinellas County Housing Finance Authority to create a foreclosure prevention program, and in April 2008, Tampa Bay CDC became part of the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program (NFMCP). Tampa Bay CDC offers programs statewide, and to date, these comprehensive counseling and educational services have benefitted over 29,000 residents of the State of Florida. Tampa Bay CDC continues to enhance its programs to meet current changes and challenges in the housing industry with the ultimate goal to better address the needs of the communities it serves.

Vero Beach

Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council: $14,015

HUD description: Since 1999, the Treasure Coast Homeless Services Council has provided homeless prevention, supportive services and permanent housing to individuals on the Treasure Coast. It is the lead agency for the local HUD Continuum of Care, which is made up of over 50 member agencies that collaborate to meet the needs of the homeless and near homeless in the communities served. Over $20 million in federal funding has been obtained by the Council to meet the needs of the homeless in Indian River, Martin and St. Lucie counties. In partnership with Indian River County, the Council purchased and renovated 18 rental units through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). TCHSC applies for and receives federal Funds to house 255 severely disabled homeless individuals in fair market rental housing in the community; and to provide temporary housing to 72 homeless individuals. The council provides direct services to clients through its Homeless Resource Center. In 2008, the council started providing housing counseling services to those having difficulty making their mortgage payments. In 2012, the council became a HUD-approved housing counseling agency offering mortgage delinquency and default resolution counseling to Indian River County residents, as well as homeless counseling, rental housing counseling and financial management/budget counseling.

West Palm Beach

Credit Card Management Services d/b/a Debt Helper.com: $82,681

HUD description: Credit Card Management Services, Inc. D/b/a Debthelper.com is a 501(c)(3) non-profit counseling agency located in Florida and Massachusetts. Since 1996, Credit Card Management Services has been dedicated to its mission of providing compassionate and professional financial counseling and education in an ethical manner with efficient, timely and problem-solving client support. The services provided are: home equity conversion mortgage counseling; money and debt management programs; mortgage delinquency and default resolution, loss mitigation; resolving and preventing mortgage delinquency workshops; pre-purchase homebuyer counseling; pre-purchase homebuyer education workshops; financial, budgeting and credit education workshops. Debthelper.com provides one-on-one and group counseling and education to ultimately help families manage their money, navigate the home-buying process, and secure and sustain their financial futures.

West Palm Beach Housing Authority: $12,158

HUD description: The West Palm Beach Housing Authority (WPBHA) was established by the City of West Palm Beach in 1938 pursuant to Florida Statute Section 421 and the enactment of the National Housing Act of 1937. The City of West Palm Beach formed the WPBHA to provide safe, decent, and affordable housing to individuals and families with limited financial resources in the area. The mission of the WPBHA is as follows: To provide safe, decent, and affordable public housing to persons and families with limited financial resources and to provide residents with access to programs, which will assist them in making the transition to greater financial security. The WPBHA is a HUD approved housing counseling agency approved to provide: financial management/budget, pre-purchase and rental counseling, as well as fair housing, non-delinquency post purchase, predatory lending education, pre-purchase homebuyer education, rental and mortgage delinquency workshops. WPBHA also administers 3209 housing choice vouchers, which include Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers awarded by HUD. The WPBHA also manages 596 public housing units, and 400 units of market rate affordable housing in West Palm Beach.

Winter Park

Center for Independent Living Central Florida, Inc.: $11,799

HUD description: The Center for Independent Living in Central Florida Inc. (CIL-CF) is a private, nonprofit, 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities achieve their self-determined goals for independent living. Founded in 1976 by a coalition of people with disabilities and their advocates, CIL-CF has enhanced and enriched the lives of people with disabilities in Central Florida by providing essential services and advocacy. In partnership with the community, the agency promotes personal rights and responsibilities among people with all disabilities and strives to eliminate architectural, communication, and attitudinal barriers by providing education, resources and training to enhance self-determination through informed choice. CIL-CF became a HUD approved housing counseling agency in April 2009. The agency provides the following housing counseling services: resolving or preventing mortgage delinquency or foreclosure; home-buying and homeownership; principal reduction; locating, securing, or maintaining residence in affordable and accessible rental housing; and referrals for shelter or services for people that are homeless.

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