Sending Office: Honorable Daniel T. Kildee
Sent By:
Alison.Share@mail.house.gov

Dear Colleague,

I invite you to join me in sending a letter to appropriators urging $65 million in funding for HUD’s Housing Counseling Assistance Program.

The HUD Housing Counseling Assistance program has been the primary source for millions of prospective and current homeowners, renters and seniors to receive pre-purchasing counseling to households considering purchasing their first home, as well as non-foreclosure
post-purchase counseling, foreclosure prevention counseling, renter and homeless prevention counseling and reverse mortgage counseling for seniors. 

We have seen an increased number of potential homebuyers turn to housing counselors and financial coaches to help them increase their savings and improve their credit score before applying for a mortgage. Many millennials are already straddled with high
student debt, and counselors provide them with the financial knowledge needed so they may make the best decision for themselves and their families. As baby boomers age and explore their options for financial security, agencies have experienced an increase
of demand for reverse mortgage counseling. In communities ravaged by hurricanes and floods last year, housing counselors have stepped up help families avoid falling behind on their mortgage and assisting with the decision as to whether or not to rebuild. Because
of their outstanding work on behalf of families in need, demand for housing counseling services outpaces the resources available to counseling agencies and agencies are forced to do more with less.

It is time to provide the Housing Counseling Assistance Program with the resources necessary to continue providing these important services. 

Deadline to sign on is Wednesday, March 14th. Please contact Alison Share (alison.share@mail.house.gov) to sign onto this letter.

Thank you,

Dan Kildee

Member of Congress

 

Dear Chairman Diaz-Balart and Ranking Member Price,

As you develop the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, (THUD) and Related Agencies appropriation, we request your support of the critical HUD Housing Counseling Assistance program at the $65 million funding level. This program
supports high quality, independent non-profit housing counselors to work directly with consumers to empower them to make informed financial decisions that lead to increased homeownership and reduced foreclosures.

The HUD Housing Counseling Assistance program has been the primary source for millions of prospective and current homeowners, renters and seniors to receive pre-purchasing counseling to households considering purchasing their first home, as well as non-foreclosure
post-purchase counseling, foreclosure prevention counseling, renter and homeless prevention counseling and reverse mortgage counseling for seniors. 

In the first nine months of FY 18, HUD–approved counseling agencies assisted nearly 900,000 individuals and families across the country, with approximately 50 percent being racial minorities and 60 percent who were low to moderate income. For families affected
by disasters, housing counselors provide access to public and private resources and assistance with the difficult decision about whether to rebuild or relocate.

The documented success of these federal housing counseling programs prove that they are an effective use of taxpayer dollars, and a necessary investment for more people to have the ability to achieve the American dream. Research by organizations such as
the Philadelphia Federal Reserve, the Urban Institute, Freddie Mac, and HUD has shown that homeowners and prospective homeowners who receive counseling raise their credit scores, have lower delinquency and default rates, and less overall debt. With the homeownership
rates finally heading in a positive direction, housing counselors can play an important role in helping consumers avoid the types of mistakes that led to the last housing crisis.

Consumers have begun to recognize the value of working with a housing counseling agency, as an increased number of potential homebuyers are turning to housing counselors and financial coaches to help them increase their savings and improve their credit score
before applying for a mortgage. Many millennials are already straddled with high student debt, and counselors provide them with the financial knowledge needed so they may make the best decision for themselves and their families. As baby boomers age and explore
their options for financial security, agencies have experienced an increase of demand for reverse mortgage counseling. In communities ravaged by hurricanes and floods last year, housing counselors have stepped up help families avoid falling behind on their
mortgage and assisting with the decision as to whether or not to rebuild. Because of their outstanding work on behalf of families in need, demand for housing counseling services outpaces the resources available to counseling agencies and agencies are forced
to do more with less.

This program provides a critical service for millions of Americans, especially those from low and moderate incomes, and communities of color. Federal funding for the Housing Counseling Assistance program allows agencies to leverage additional private funding
ensuring that HUD-approved counseling agencies can retain their independence and provide consumers with accurate and unbiased information on which they can make critically important decisions affecting the biggest portion of their household budget. As you
determine priorities for federal funding, we urge you to include funding of $65 million for the HUD Counseling Assistance program.

Thank you for considering this request.  The millions of families that benefit from working with a counselor hope they can count on your support for this important work. 

Sincerely,

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Consumer Affairs, Finance

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0