Delaware State Housing Authority director Anas Ben Addi has announced that DSHA was awarded $91,722 from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development for comprehensive housing counseling services to be performed by three sub-grantees - First State Community Action Agency, NCALL Research Inc., and YWCA Center for Homeownership. This is the first time DSHA has received funding as an intermediary for comprehensive counseling services from HUD.
“Today’s announcement is welcome news to the agencies that will receive the grant, and the many Delawareans who will benefit from it,” said Congressman John Carney. “We have started to see a turnaround in the housing market, but there are still thousands in our state who, through no fault of their own, struggle to make their mortgage payments and stay in their homes. The agencies that applied for this grant provide free counseling and education services to many of these homeowners in some of the most low-income, under-served areas of the state. I know these resources will be put to very good use.”
Addi stated, “In addition to being a great honor for the participating agencies, now Delawareans will have even more opportunities to take advantage of the invaluable services that housing counselors provide. This is another positive step in creating the counseling services network we have envisioned.”
While the HUD Housing Counseling Grant is a new undertaking for DSHA, the agency has been working actively for the past several years to develop a robust partnership with all ten HUD-approved housing counseling agencies in Delaware. DSHA collaborates with housing counselors to make a wide range of services available to Delawareans who need them, including financial coaching, debt management, homeownership counseling, and foreclosure prevention services.
“Last fall, I met homeowner Dawn Pyle who told me how she almost lost her home - not once, but twice - due to job loss from a life-threatening illness. She credits DSHA and the YWCA’s housing counseling program and counselor Marva Wood with helping her find her own road to recovery to hold onto her home,” said Jane C.W. Vincent, HUD’s regional administrator of the Mid-Atlantic region.
The funds from this grant will support pre-purchase home ownership counseling for Delawareans who are looking to buy their first homes, and who require financial literacy, budget counseling, and other related services in order to become mortgage-ready. Housing counselors work intensively with pre-purchase clients to ensure that they are equipped with the information and resources they need to select a sound mortgage product which is right for their financial situation and personal goals.
Joe Myer, executive director of NCALL Research Inc. added, “HUD funding for housing counseling services in Delaware is vitally important to first-time home buyers seeking to become mortgage-ready and financially able consumers, empowered to make informed decisions about their housing future."
“This is exciting news for Delaware,” confirmed Bernice Edwards, executive director of First State Community Action Agency. “Housing counseling services are not just for families looking to buy a home or for those facing foreclosure. Financial literacy training is offered to lower-income households struggling to repair credit, to broaden their options, and to help seniors stay in their home.”
For more information about the Delaware State Housing Authority, call 888-363-8808 or go to www.destatehousing.com.