For Immediate Release - April 25, 2016

Baker – Polito Administration Awards $1.3 Million In Forclosure Education & First-Time Homebuyer Counseling Grants

 Boston, MA (April 25, 2016) – The Baker-Polito Administration today announced the awarding of $1.3 million in grants to fund first-time homeownership counseling programs and foreclosure prevention education centers throughout the Commonwealth. The Division of Banks administers funding of these grants with administrative fees associated with the licensing of mortgage loan originators. A total of 19 awards was made to 11 foreclosure prevention regional centers and eight consumer counseling organizations.

Throughout calendar year 2015, these funded organizations served more than 5,200 Massachusetts consumers and homeowners, many of whom reside in gateway communities.  According to grantee data compiled by the Division of Banks, more than half of the consumers that received counseling at foreclosure prevention and education centers did so because of loss or reduction in income. Medical issues accounted for 17 percent of mortgage delinquencies, and poor budget management was cited by eight percent.

“Ensuring that vital education and counseling services are available for consumers who are either contemplating the biggest purchase of their lives or who are in danger of foreclosure is critical to maintaining a healthy marketplace for lending and borrowing,” said Consumer Affairs Undersecretary John Chapman. “The lending environment is more tightly regulated now than prior to the foreclosure crisis of the last decade, and consumers should know that they have additional rights when purchasing a home or facing foreclosure.”

“These funds are crucial for organizations with a mission of community and economic development. Foreclosure counseling, first-time homeownership assistance, and post-homeownership education are critical services for consumers statewide,” said Commissioner of Banks David Cotney.

Since the inception of the grant program in 2008, over 30,000 consumers have been assisted with more than $8 million in funding. The following organizations have been awarded funding for 2016.

 

Regional Foreclosure Education Centers Geographic Area Served 2016 Award
City of Boston, Dept. of Neighborhood Development Boston and vicinity $158,475
Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corp. Dorchester, Mattapan, Southwest Boston $74,083
Housing Alliance Project, Inc. (HAP Housing) Springfield, Berkshire and Hampden Counties $158,475
Homeowners Options for Massachusetts Elders, Inc. (H.O.M.E.) Statewide $81,346
Home Preservation Coalition of Merrimack Valley Merrimack Valley $100,160
Housing Assistance Corporation Cape Cod $32,250
Neighborhood of Affordable Housing, Inc. (N.O.A.H) Boston and North Shore $75,434
NeighborWorks of Southern Mass. Brockton, New Bedford, and Southeast Massachusetts $101,230
Oak Hill CDC/NeighborWorks Homeownership Center Worcester $158,475
South Middlesex Opportunity Council Framingham $38,108
Urban Edge Housing Corp. Roxbury, Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan $61,964
Total:   $1,040,000
     
Consumer Counseling Organizations Geographic Area Served 2016 Award
ACT Lawrence, Inc. Lawrence $71,839
Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation Allston and Brighton $20,975
Chelsea Restoration Corp. Chelsea $43,110
Ecumenical Social Action Committee Boston and Eastern Mass. $19,975
Lawrence Community Works, Inc. Lawrence $43,292
Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership, Inc. Lowell $16,716
Quincy Community Action Programs, Inc. Greater Quincy, Weymouth, Braintree, Milton, Randolph $19,337
Valley Community Development Corp. Northampton $24,756
Total:   $260,000

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation is committed to protecting consumers through consumer advocacy and education, and also works to ensure that the businesses its agencies regulate treat all Massachusetts consumers fairly. Follow the office at its blog, on Facebook, and on Twitter @Mass Consumer.

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