Oklahoma receives $368,000 in housing counseling grants

Bethany, Enid, Norman, Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Stigler, Stillwater and Tulsa Receive Grants

FORT WORTH, October 12, 2007 – Housing counseling agencies in Bethany, Enid, Norman, Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Stigler, Stillwater and Tulsa together received a total of $368, 231 in HUD Housing Counseling Grants. Nationwide, approximately 700,000 families will have a greater opportunity to find housing or keep the homes they have because of more than $44 million in housing counseling and counseling training grants announced today by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. A list of the Oklahoma grantees and program summaries follows.

“This Administration strongly believes in the value of housing counseling services,” said Jackson. “These organizations help families make informed choices before they take the important step of homeownership. They also provide a service that is vital in today’s mortgage market – they counsel families facing foreclosure and advise them about their options.”

The organizations that provide housing counseling services help people become homeowners, remain homeowners, find rental housing and assist homeless persons in finding transitional housing. Grant recipients also help homebuyers and homeowners realistically evaluate their readiness for a home purchase, understand their financing and downpayment options, and navigate what can be an extremely confusing and difficult process.

Housing counseling agencies combat predatory lending by helping unwary borrowers avoid unreasonably high interest rates, inflated appraisals, unaffordable repayment terms, and other conditions that can result in a loss of equity, increased debt, default, and even foreclosure.

And with foreclosures on the rise nationwide, housing counselors can assist homeowners in mortgage default with strategies to avoid losing their homes.

HUD awards annual grants under the housing counseling program through a competitive process. Organizations that apply for grants must be HUD-approved and are subject to biennial performance reviews to maintain their HUD-approved status.

Oklahoma Grantees:

Consumer Credit Counseling of Central Oklahoma, Inc.
Bethany, Okla.
$52,538.68 – Comprehensive Counseling

CCCS offers pre-purchase homebuyer counseling as people prepare for homeownership and early intervention mortgage delinquency counseling to help people save their homes and avoid foreclosure. CCCS also works with Habitat for Humanity, various housing authorities and other agencies to increase homeownership while making the home-buying process less complicated and less expensive. Each year CCCS makes free financial literacy presentations at high schools, colleges, civic organizations, companies and other groups.

Community Development Support Association, Inc.
Enid, Okla.
$30,000.00 – Comprehensive Counseling

Community Development Support Association, Inc. (CDSA) is a private non-profit community action agency established in 1980, and has been a HUD certified housing counseling agency since 1998. The mission of the agency is to work with others to identify needs, secure resources, and deliver services that improve lives in our communities. CDSA provides comprehensive housing counseling including: homebuyer education, mortgage delinquency/default counseling, home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) counseling, homeless services, services to renters and services that promote energy efficiency.

Housing Authority of the City of Norman
Norman, Okla.
$41,692.45 – Comprehensive Counseling

The Norman Housing Authority assists low-income clients with affordable housing needs. Through the Norman Housing Authority and its non-profit, the Norman Affordable Housing Corporation, services range from specialized housing for persons with persistent mental illness, elderly housing including handicap-equipped units, homeownership opportunities, subsidized rental programs for families, and housing for homeless high school students through a project-based voucher program. The Norman Housing Authority also provides appropriate referrals to community based resources to meet unique and/or specific needs.

Community Action Agency of Oklahoma City and OK/CN Counties
Oklahoma City, Okla.

$50,000.00 – Comprehensive Counseling

CAA of OKC Special Projects Division has been reaching out and working with low-to-moderate income families and individuals since 1993. CAA of OKC’s designation as a HUD Certified Housing Counseling Agency in 1995 has enabled it to help well over 1,000 homebuyers and homeowners, through the wide range of counseling services the agency provides. The agency also helps with emergency housing assistance and job placement. Community Action Agency of Oklahoma City and Oklahoma and Canadian Counties, Inc. conducts workshops, one-on-one individualized counseling and provides information through housing fairs, and town meetings. The agency works to ensure that homebuyers are not victims of predatory lending practices, that fair housing standards are upheld, and that communities are aware of the many programs available to them.

Housing Authority of the City of Shawnee
Shawnee, Okla.

$52,000.00 – Comprehensive Counseling

The Housing Authority of the City of Shawnee, Oklahoma, a public housing authority established in 1967, has been providing housing and housing assistance to the residents of Shawnee for over forty years. In addition to providing public housing and Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, the Authority offers a wide array of resident services including site-based resident councils, family self-sufficiency programs, housing counseling, ROSS elderly/disabled case management, and ROSS homeownership supportive services. The Authority became a HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agency in 2002 and provides housing counseling services to residents in Shawnee and surrounding areas.

Housing counseling services offered range from pre-purchase, rental, post-purchase delinquency and post purchase non-delinquency counseling. Services are offered both in one-on-one sessions with trained counselors and in group workshop settings.

Ki Bois Community Action Foundation, Inc.
Stigler, Okla.

$34,461.63 – Comprehensive Counseling

Ki Bois Community Action Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization that provides a myriad of services in Haskell, Latimer, Leflore and Pittsburg counties. These services include pre-purchase counseling, post-purchase counseling, default counseling and rental counseling. In addition, Ki Bois sponsors homebuyer education workshops.

Stillwater Housing Authority
Stillwater, Okla.

$35,000.00 – Comprehensive Counseling

The Stillwater Housing Authority has been meeting the housing needs of low-income, elderly, and disabled residents in Stillwater for over 25 years. The mission of Stillwater Housing Authority is designed to “ensure safe, decent, and affordable housing; create opportunities for residents’ self-sufficiency and economic independence” and “recognize the residents as their ultimate customer.” To facilitate this mission, Stillwater Housing Authority implemented a housing counseling program in 1997.

The housing counseling program was designed to address an array of housing needs for Stillwater residents, including helping the client acquire decent, safe, and affordable rental housing or certifying first-time homebuyers.

Community Action Project of Tulsa County
Tulsa, Okla.

$41,692.45 – Comprehensive Counseling

Community Action Project of Tulsa County (CAP) is a non-profit anti-poverty agency with a history of providing a variety of services to low-income people for more than 30 years. CAP is the designated community action agency serving Tulsa County. The agency’s mission is to help individuals and families in economic need achieve self-sufficiency in an environment of respect.

CAP has been a HUD- approved counseling agency since 1995. The agency has developed and implemented several programs to help low-income clients prepare for home purchase and ownership and to increase the supply of quality, affordable homes in the low-income community.

Housing Partners of Tulsa, Inc.
Tulsa, Okla.

$30,846.23 – Comprehensive Counseling

Housing Partners of Tulsa, Inc. (HPT) was created in 1991 and its mission is to provide a wide range of affordable housing options and promote programs that lead to self-sufficiency and homeownership for low and moderate income Tulsans. HPT promotes homeownership and activities leading to economic self-sufficiency in the Tulsa Metropolitan Area through a variety of housing counseling and homebuyer education services.

Their services include homeownership education classes, post-purchase homeowner classes, and one-on-one homeownership, predatory lending and mortgage delinquency/default prevention counseling. These services make homeownership possible for low and moderate income Tulsans, providing a means to become independent of government housing assistance. HPT offers opportunities for Public Housing and Housing Choice Voucher (Section 8) residents to become independent of assisted housing through homeownership

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