For Immediate Release - September 24, 2014

AG Awards Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association with Overseeing Grant Program to Assist Struggling Homeowners

HomeCorps-Funded Program Will Help Families and Individuals Facing Foreclosure Statewide

BOSTON — The Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) has been chosen to coordinate and oversee a statewide program which works directly with families and individuals facing foreclosure, utilizing funds recovered through the nationwide state-federal settlement over unlawful foreclosures, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

The program, known as Community Based HomeCorps, is funded by a $1.5 million grant aimed at  extending the work of AG Coakley’s first in the nation HomeCorps program to mitigate the future impacts of the foreclosure crisis. As Master Grantee of the program, CHAPA will be responsible for all phases of oversight of the program that will combine loan modification advocacy and homelessness prevention services.

“Our HomeCorps program, which has already assisted thousands of homeowners, will now be able to combine both loan modification advocacy and homelessness prevention services under one program run by CHAPA,” AG Coakley said. “We know they have the experience and expertise to fulfill these goals and are pleased they will oversee this critical statewide program.”

CHAPA will provide homelessness prevention services statewide via a sub-grantee network of full-time equivalent Homeowner Advocates. The organization will also accept referrals for services and provide levels of supervisory and administrative/operational support sufficient to ensure the highest levels of service delivery and quality controls consistent with the scope and scale of the grant program.

“We are excited that the Attorney General’s Office has selected CHAPA to align the efforts of the AGO, the community organizations and the homeowners, as we are always striving to empower communities to advocate for housing stabilization and sustainable neighborhoods,” said Brenda Clement, Executive Director of CHAPA. “We look forward to working closely with these highly regarded community partners to deliver localized assistance.”

CHAPA, through a competitive selection process and in close consultation with the AG’s Office, selected 12 sub-grantees that are well established within their respective communities to deliver services in their regions of operation.

The following organizations have been named Sub-Grantees under the Community Based HomeCorps Grant: Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority; Coalition for A Better Acre; HAPHousing; Housing Assistance Corporation of Cape Cod (HAC); Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH); NeighborWorks of Southern Mass; Oak Hill Community Development Corporation, in conjunction with Central MA Housing Alliance, Inc.; Quincy Community Action Programs (QCAP); Twin Cities Community Development Corporation, in conjunction with Montachusett Opportunity Council; and Urban Edge.

The majority of services provided to homeowners supported by this grant program will focus on assisting with loan modification related services. All services delivered by the Master Grantee and the sub-grantees as part of this grant program will be delivered at no cost to eligible homeowners.

Services provided by the program include:

  • Conducting outreach about the availability of services;
  • Providing financial education services, such as reviewing income and expenses, helping clients establish a budget, explaining various options;
  • Providing assistance on the loan modification process;
  • Advocating on client’s behalf with lenders and loan servicers;
  • Providing homelessness prevention services for those clients who will need to relocate due to foreclosure, including providing guidance on obtaining housing and financial stabilization resources; and
  • Providing referrals to anti-poverty agencies, legal services, and/or social or mental health services as needed.

AG Coakley’s HomeCorps Program has directly assisted more than 13,300 borrowers in Massachusetts, and helped achieve more than 2,640 permanent loan modifications. The HomeCorps program is funded by the National Mortgage Settlement with the five biggest lenders over their servicing and foreclosure practices.

Since the program launched in April 2012 HomeCorps has launched a series of initiatives to help homeowners directly. These include a Borrower Representation Initiative to assist homeowners with legal issues that must first be resolved prior to a loan modification or other relief.

For more information on the Community Based HomeCorps program visit www.mass.gov/ago/HomeCorps and www.chapa.org/CBHC

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