Biden-Harris Administration Awards $955,697 to Expand Housing Counseling for Underserved Communities in New Jersey

Vice President Harris and Acting Secretary Todman announced the funding to help bridge the racial homeownership gap and foster the next generation of homeowners. 

NEW JERSEY – Vice President Kamala Harris and HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman announced that the Biden-Harris Administration is awarding nearly $40 million to expand comprehensive housing counseling services for homebuyers, homeowners, and renters throughout America. These awards – through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Housing Counseling – will fund counseling services that equip individuals and families with vital education and resources to inform decisions about their housing needs and opportunities. The Vice President and Acting Secretary highlighted this new funding in Milwaukee, WI, on the Vice President’s nationwide Economic Opportunity Tour.

In New Jersey, HUD awarded $955,697 to local HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agencies to assist renters, homebuyers, and homeowners with housing counseling and financial literacy.  The list of grant recipients and awards is available here.

“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 Vice President 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.”

“This funding comes at a great time, just before homebuying season gets into high gear,” said Alicka Ampry-Samuel, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “New Jerseyans can visit any HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency and speak to someone who will guide them through the home purchasing process and even help them figure out how much money they need. Housing Counseling agencies are also great resources for renters and homeowners searching for a reverse mortgage that can provide financial stability in their golden years.”  

HUD awarded grants to more than 165 housing counseling agencies and intermediary organizations. Fourteen grantees will also partner with 60 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions to support new homeowners of color and other marginalized communities. Funds can be used for counseling services covering various topics, including financial management and literacy, homeownership, and affordable rental housing. One of the grantees – Unidos US – will create pathways for Latino homebuyers to build credit, afford a down payment, and get approved for a sustainable mortgage loan.

“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.”

“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.”

Fact Sheet: HUD and the Biden-Harris Administration Provides Housing Counseling to Millions of Americans

Since 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has helped over 3 million individuals and families to obtain, sustain, and retain their homes.

Quick Facts

HUD supports a strong national network of 1,480 HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and over 4,300 HUD-certified housing counselors.

In 2023 alone, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies served nearly one million individuals and families.

Since 2020, HUD awarded over $140 million in grants to support this work.

In 2022 and 2023, OHC awarded over $6.3 million to housing counseling organizations that provided professional development and training opportunities to new and existing HUD-certified housing counselors to equip them with the necessary tools to meet the evolving needs of homeowners, homebuyers, and renters.

Nearly 1,500 classes were offered, over 35,000 counselors were trained, and just over 25,000 scholarships were provided to counselors as a result of these grant awards.

During the pandemic, HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agencies helped over 250,000 Americans to sustain their housing through applications to the Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) programs. 

How does Housing Counseling Help?

HUD-approved housing counseling agencies provide services to address a full range of housing needs including:

Budgeting and financial education;

Education and one-on-one counseling to renters, homebuyers and homeowners;

Helping unhoused individuals transition to affordable housing;

Education on emergency preparedness and assisting families with disaster recovery; and

Helping seniors determine whether a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or other reverse mortgage makes sense for them.  

Working with Minority-Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities

In 2021, HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) launched the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) Initiative. 

Since then, HUD has awarded $9 million to facilitate partnerships between HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agencies and HBCUs and MSIs to provide homebuyer education and housing counseling for students, faculty, administration at participating HBCUs and MSIs as well as community residents. 

Through this national initiative 14 HUD approved national housing counseling intermediary organizations have formed 60 partnerships with 51 MSIs in 18 states and territories. The overarching goals of this effort are to empower the next generation of homeowners and train the next generation of housing counselors. 

Let’s Make Home the Goal, a Nationwide Awareness Campaign

In 2023, HUD launched “Let’s Make Home the Goal”, a nationwide, multi-year campaign to generate awareness of the availability and benefits of pre-purchase housing counseling provided by HUD-certified housing counselors.

The campaign is designed to reach communities of color that have historically faced more difficulties with the homebuying process due to systemic barriers. Through digital advertising, events, and public service announcements, “Let’s Make Home the Goal” reached over 5 million prospective homebuyers in 15 targeted metro areas in states with a concentration of diverse communities and more affordable housing markets.

In 2024, Let’s Make Home the Goal is expanding to over 40 metro areas – HUD is expecting to reach over 8 million consumers in this year.  

Homeownership Initiative Grant Program

In March 2024, HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling launched a new $10 million Homeownership Initiative grant program to fund eligible HUD-approved housing counseling agencies (HCAs) to help prepare and equip prospective homebuyers to successfully navigate the homebuying process.

The funding affirms the ongoing commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration to help close the racial wealth gap and address homebuying barriers that disproportionately affect marginalized communities.

This new funding will enable HUD-approved housing counseling agencies to provide culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate services for pre- and post-purchase housing counseling, aiming to increase homeownership rates among historically underserved communities.

This initiative will fund consumer housing counseling sessions that result in homeownership through a new negotiated fixed-fee with counseling agencies. HUD expects this approach to establish a “market rate” for pre-purchase counseling services that will significantly expand private sector support for homeownership counseling.

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