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HUD No. 24-115
HUD Public Affairs
(202) 708-0685
May 16, 2024

Biden-Harris Administration Awards Nearly $40 Million to Expand Housing Counseling for Underserved Communities

Vice President Harris and Acting Secretary Todman announced this funding, which will help to bridge the racial homeownership gap and foster the next generation of homeowners.

WASHINGTON - Today, Vice President Kamala Harris and HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman announced that the Biden-Harris Administration is awarding nearly $40 million to expand comprehensive housing counseling services for homebuyers, homeowners, and renters throughout America. These awards – through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Housing Counseling – will fund counseling services that equip individuals and families with vital education and resources to inform decisions about their housing needs and opportunities. The Vice President and Acting Secretary will highlight this new funding while in Milwaukee, WI today for the third stop on the Vice President’s nationwide Economic Opportunity Tour.

“Homeownership represents more than just a roof over our heads; it represents financial security, the opportunity to build wealth and equity, and a foundation for a better future for ourselves, our children, and future generations,” said Vice President Harris. “That is why President Biden and I are continuing to address barriers to housing by announcing $40 million to expand housing counseling services in communities across the country. This new funding to more than 165 housing counseling agencies will build economic opportunity while helping homebuyers throughout America improve their credit, find down payment assistance programs, understand loan terms and types of mortgages, navigate the application process, and identify housing discrimination.”

“This past year, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies reached almost one million Americans, providing them with invaluable advice on important topics like financial literacy, maintaining a home, and avoiding foreclosure,” said HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman. “Today, we are providing $40 million more to expand these services – specifically for underserved communities – so we can build the next generation of homeowners and close the racial homeownership gap.”

HUD plans to award grants to more than 165 housing counseling agencies and intermediary organizations. Fourteen grantees will also partner with 60 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions to support new homeowners of color and other marginalized communities. Funds can be used for counseling services covering various topics, including financial management and literacy, homeownership, and affordable rental housing. For example, one of the grantees – Unidos US – aims to creating pathways for Latino homebuyers to build credit, afford a down payment, and get approved for a sustainable mortgage loan.

While in Milwaukee, WI today, Vice President Harris and Acting Secretary Todman will speak to the importance of these funds and the Biden-Harris Administration’s broader work to cut housing costs for American consumers. HUD estimates that over $300,000 of this new funding will go to help consumers in Wisconsin. The Biden-Harris Administration and HUD have already helped nearly 35,000 Americans through this program in Wisconsin – 19,000 of whom live in Milwaukee.

These counseling services are currently serving nearly 12,000 families in Wisconsin, 40 percent of whom are Black families. At the event, three housing counseling agencies will be present: Acts Housing, Housing Resources Inc, and United Community Center.

“We’re proud to make these funds available to HUD-certified housing counselors, who are often the first point of contact for those seeking support with their housing needs,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing Counseling David Berenbaum. “Given the rising costs of housing, coupled with limited available inventory, housing counseling is a critical resource for homebuyers and renters seeking to navigate challenging processes and decisions.”

The list of grant recipients and awards are available here.

Fact Sheet: HUD and the Biden-Harris Administration Provides Housing Counseling to Millions of Americans

Since 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has helped over 3 million individuals and families to obtain, sustain, and retain their homes.

Quick Facts

  • HUD supports a strong national network of 1,480 HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and over 4,300 HUD-certified housing counselors.
  • In 2023 alone, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies served nearly one million individuals and families.
  • Since 2020, HUD has awarded over $140 million in grants to support this work.
  • In 2022 and 2023, OHC awarded over $6.3 million to housing counseling organizations that provided professional development and training opportunities to new and existing HUD-certified housing counselors to equip them with the necessary tools to meet the evolving needs of homeowners, homebuyers, and renters.
  • Nearly 1,500 classes were offered, over 35,000 counselors were trained, and just over 25,000 scholarships were provided to counselors as a result of these grant awards.
  • During the pandemic, HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agencies helped over 250,000 Americans to sustain their housing through applications to the Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) and Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) programs.

How does Housing Counseling Help?

  • HUD-approved housing counseling agencies provide services to address a full range of housing needs including:
    • Budgeting and financial education;
    • Education and one-on-one counseling to renters, homebuyers and homeowners;
    • Helping unhoused individuals transition to affordable housing;
    • Education on emergency preparedness and assisting families with disaster recovery; and
    • Helping seniors determine whether a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage or other reverse mortgage makes sense for them.

Working with Minority-Serving Institutions and Historically Black Colleges and Universities

  • In 2021, HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) launched the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) Initiative.
  • Since then, HUD has awarded $9 million to facilitate partnerships between HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agencies and HBCUs and MSIs to provide homebuyer education and housing counseling for students, faculty, administration at participating HBCUs and MSIs as well as community residents.
  • Through this national initiative 14 HUD approved national housing counseling intermediary organizations have formed 60 partnerships with 51 MSIs in 18 states and territories. The overarching goals of this effort are to empower the next generation of homeowners and train the next generation of housing counselors.

Let’s Make Home the Goal, a Nationwide Awareness Campaign

  • In 2023, HUD launched “Let’s Make Home the Goal”, a nationwide, multi-year campaign to generate awareness of the availability and benefits of pre-purchase housing counseling provided by HUD-certified housing counselors.
  • The campaign is designed to reach communities of color that have historically faced more difficulties with the homebuying process due to systemic barriers. Through digital advertising, events, and public service announcements, “Let’s Make Home the Goal” reached over 5 million prospective homebuyers in 15 targeted metro areas in states with a concentration of diverse communities and more affordable housing markets.
  • In 2024, Let’s Make Home the Goal is expanding to over 40 metro areas – HUD is expecting to reach over 8 million consumers in this year.

Homeownership Initiative Grant Program

  • In March 2024, HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling launched a new $10 million Homeownership Initiative grant program to fund eligible HUD-approved housing counseling agencies (HCAs) to help prepare and equip prospective homebuyers to successfully navigate the homebuying process.
  • The funding affirms the ongoing commitment of the Biden-Harris Administration to help close the racial wealth gap and address homebuying barriers that disproportionately affect marginalized communities.
  • This new funding will enable HUD-approved housing counseling agencies to provide culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate services for pre- and post-purchase housing counseling, aiming to increase homeownership rates among historically underserved communities.
  • This initiative will fund consumer housing counseling sessions that result in homeownership through a new negotiated fixed-fee with counseling agencies. HUD expects this approach to establish a “market rate” for pre-purchase counseling services that will significantly expand private sector support for homeownership counseling.


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