TRENTON – The New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA) board has taken action to further the Murphy administration’s stepped-up efforts to provide quality housing counseling to New Jersey residents with a nearly $250,000 federal grant dedicated toward expanded services.
The program is designed to address up to six areas of housing counseling needs, including pre-purchase, foreclosure prevention, post-purchase education, locating and maintenance of rental housing, services for the homeless and reverse mortgage counseling.
“Unexpected turns in life can lead to having to decide between paying the mortgage or putting food on the table. We want to help individuals experiencing hardship,” said Lieutenant Governor Sheila Y. Oliver, Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) and Chair of the NJHMFA board. “The goal of this program is for housing counselors to help New Jersey residents avoid common pitfalls to help them find, keep and maintain their homes.”
The grant, awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), enables NJHMFA to work with HUD-certified local housing counseling agencies to provide the counseling services.
“Housing counselors serve a vital role in the homebuying and foreclosure prevention process in guiding homebuyers and homeowners to explore all options,” said NJHMFA Executive Director Charles A. Richman. “By bolstering our efforts to help prevent foreclosure, we can help homeowners regain stability and work to preserve their homes, which also contributes to the overall well-being of the neighborhood.”
Since 2013, NJHMFA has applied for and received HUD housing counseling grants totaling nearly $1 million, and approximately 7,000 New Jersey homeowners have received counseling under the program.
NJHMFA will distribute the grant to the Affordable Housing Alliance, Greater Bergen Community Action, Urban League for Bergen County, Faith Fellowship Community Development Corporation, Puerto Rican Action Board and Tri-City Peoples Corporation.
The funding is part of $47 million in federal housing counseling grants awarded to directly support housing counseling services nationwide to help approximately 1 million households keep their current homes, find housing or make more informed housing choices. NJHMFA was among the more than 250 housing counseling agencies awarded grants.
For more information on NJHMFA’s foreclosure prevention efforts, visit njhousing.gov/foreclosure.