HUD awards $1.3M in housing counseling grants to N.J. programs

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Wednesday that it has awarded more than $1.3 million in housing counseling grants to seven agencies in New Jersey to help state residents make more informed housing choices.

“HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are on the front lines of helping individuals and families to find affordable rental housing or make more informed homeownership choices,” Ben Carson, HUD secretary, said. “The funding we announced will help families to realize their dreams, whether it’s owning a home, avoiding foreclosure or finding an affordable place to rent.”

The grants will help the agencies assist state residents in decisions and challenges such as evaluating their readiness for home purchase, navigating the homebuying process, improving financial literacy, finding transitional housing for the homeless, helping seniors to determine whether reverse mortgages make sense for them and preventing foreclosure for those homebuyers facing delinquency or default.

“This grant will allow low- and moderate-income residents to receive these critical services and ensure permanent and financially stable housing,” Lynne Patton, HUD regional administrator for New York and New Jersey, said.

Four of the agencies receiving the grants have qualified activities within a designated Opportunity Zone. They are: Navicore Solutions in Manalapan; the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency in Trenton; the National Foundation for Debt Management in Marmora; and the Housing Authority of the City of Paterson.

The other agencies include: Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey in Trenton; Senior Citizens United Community Services of Camden County in Audubon; and North Hudson Community Action Corp. in Union City.

HUD grantees estimate that nearly 40,000 New Jersey residents will be served by HUD-approved housing counseling agencies in the state.