Markey, Kerry, Brown, Olver, McGovern, Lynch: Mass. Wins $3.5 Mil for Housing Counseling Services

BOSTON – Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, along with Congressmen Edward Markey, John Olver, James McGovern, and Stephen F. Lynch, today announced that Massachusetts will receive more than $3.5 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for housing counseling services.

The funding, awarded through HUD’s Housing Counseling Program (COMP) will be used to provide housing counseling services to homebuyers, homeowners, low-to moderate-income renters, and the homeless in order to expand homeownership opportunities and provide access to affordable housing. Counselors will provide guidance and advice to help families and individuals improve their housing conditions and meet the responsibilities of tenancy and homeownership.

Additional funding will also be awarded through HUD’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Program (HECM) that will help to provide counseling to elderly homeowners who are looking to convert equity in their homes into come that can be used to pay for home improvements, medical costs, living expenses, or other expenses.

"We have a responsibility to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society have a fair shot at finding a safe and affordable place to live. Organizations like Community Service Network, Inc. in Stoneham, which speaks directly with and advocates for constituents, provide essential services for our neighbors, potential homebuyers, and seniors,” said Rep. Markey. “I want to commend Secretary Donovan for supporting these important organizations with this funding.”

“The bottom line is lifting the living situations of working families across the state,” said Sen. Kerry. “This investment will help everyone from homeowners to those escaping the streets.”
“I am proud that these housing programs received funding,” said Sen. Brown. “I have seen firsthand how critical this aid is and I am grateful that HUD has recognized the noteworthy work that Massachusetts is doing to serve those who need assistance.”
“Though $25,000 is only a drop in the bucket concerning the true need of housing counseling services, Berkshire Regional Housing has a solid foundation in the county and has established a reputation that has set a standard of best practices,” said Rep. Olver. “Mr. Gordon and his staff are seen as experts and essential partners in addressing housing instability and homelessness in Berkshire County.”

"We know from recent experiences that housing counseling can be a huge help," said Rep. McGovern. "I'm pleased that Catholic Social Services in Fall River will receive these federal funds."

“These funds will provide the resources needed for Massachusetts families to improve their housing and their quality of life,” said Rep. Lynch. “I am pleased to see that these organizations and agencies have received these HUD grants.”

The following cities have received COMP funding:
Housing Partnership Network
Boston, MA
Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association, Inc.
Boston, MA
Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America
Jamaica Plain, MA
Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority
Pittsfield, MA
Plymouth Redevelopment Authority
Plymouth, MA
Pro-Home, Inc.
Taunton, MA
Quincy Community Action Programs, Inc.
Quincy, MA
Catholic Social Services
Fall River, MA
Chelsea Restoration Corporation
Chelsea, MA
Action for Community Boston Development
Boston, MA
Community Service Network, Inc.
Stoneham, MA
The following cities have received HECM funding:
Quincy Community Action Programs, Inc.
Quincy, MA
Plymouth Redevelopment Authority
Plymouth, MA

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