Proposal for the New Covid-19 Housing Counseling Funding Program

National Housing Resource Center was instrumental in ensuring that the Biden Administration include funding for housing counseling in the American Rescue Plan Act.  We are incredibly happy that $100 million was added because of our advocacy and that the funds were designated to flow through NeighborWorks America as was done with the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program during the financial crisis.  While the NFMC program was incredibly helpful and made it possible for housing counseling agencies to build capacity and meet the needs of consumers, there were lessons housing counselors learned which could strengthen new programs.  We convened a working group of thirty-eight (38) housing counseling leaders to discuss best practices from the NFMC program and review what needed to be done differently.  As a result, we were able to submit a comprehensive list of proposals to NeighborWorks America for the design of the Covid-19 Housing Counseling Funding.  The full list of proposals can be found here.   Below are a few key highlights. A program can only be properly distributed with adequate administration. This is also true with distributing housing counseling services to any community. The working group believes that there should be adequate support for administrative costs to both subgrantees and intermediaries. NeighborWorks America should prioritize direct funding to agencies for the services they provide over funding for program research and staff training for the first $100 million. We strongly support analytic reviews of the work and staff training but suggest that funding for this comes from later COVID 19 funding.  Agencies need funding now to expand capacity and deliver services to consumers in need. The working group recognized that smaller agencies would receive lower funding allocations even though their capacity building may [...]

HOMEBUYER FAIRS – Reaching Underserved Consumers

In 2017, Deutsche Bank received orders to enter a significant settlement with the Department of Justice for misleading investors in its sale of residential mortgage-backed securities.  Under the consumer relief portion of this settlement, Deutsche Bank was required to sponsor three housing outreach events each year for a three-year term.  National Housing Resource Center (NHRC) saw an opportunity to help housing counseling agencies spread the word on the services they provide and submitted a proposal that Deutsche Bank chose to use for eight outreach events.  These events were scheduled to take place in markets in Chicago, Tampa, Atlanta, Inland Empire (Southern California), Phoenix, St. Louis, Memphis, and Newark. The events targeted Black and Brown homebuyers and homeowners. DESIGN & FLOW The model NHRC developed was designed to have events planned by and for housing counselors.  The goal was to ensure that attendees learned the value of meeting with a HUD-approved housing counselor prior to making any home purchasing decision.  With that in mind, each event followed a basic outline: Attendees first sat down with a housing counselor for a brief discussion, where they received general information about the services they provide. Attendees can work with a counselor after the event for in-depth housing counseling and an action plan to meet their personal housing goals.  At three events, loss mitigation counseling was offered alongside pre-purchase counseling. After meeting with a counselor, attendees could take advantage of workshops about the homebuying process, how to build credit, and local down payment assistance programs available. Next, attendees could get a free credit report with a FICO score from at least one Credit Bureau. Lastly, attendees had the opportunity to visit vendors from banking, real estate, housing development, and social [...]

By |2021-03-30T15:15:59+00:00March 30th, 2021|Categories: Funding, Legislative Update|0 Comments
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