Distressed Property Owners Get Some Help With HUD Grants

Distressed Property Owners Get Some Help With HUD Grants-Image via Wikipedia

Esperanza has received a $271,443 grant from the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to deliver foreclosure prevention counseling and assist with application to Federal and other mortgage modification programs. Esperanza is one of 23 intermediaries awarded, and will work to deliver housing counseling through its own national network of service providers.

Nationwide, the need for assistance to obtain a mortgage modification or to avoid mortgage scams continues to rise. Hispanic individuals and families are especially at risk of a mortgage default. According to a report by the Center for Responsible Lending, Hispanic borrowers are 71% more likely to have lost their home to foreclosure than non-Hispanic white borrowers. It is estimated that 731,660 Hispanic homeowners are at imminent risk of foreclosure (“Foreclosures by Race and Ethnicity” 2010. Center for Responsible Lending). Esperanza is one of only two Hispanic HUD intermediaries in the United States, and its national network of bilingual counselors ensures that these individuals receive the full services they need without linguistic barriers.

Esperanza’s network of providers will use grant funds to support bilingual housing counselors in key markets, to conduct outreach and counseling efforts designed to identify and assist victims of mortgage modification scams, many of whom are often ashamed to seek assistance, as well as prevent new cases from occurring through vital information dissemination, and to report those cases to the applicable authorities. Between October of 2011 and 2012, Esperanza and five of its affiliates in Arizona, Florida and Pennsylvania will serve over 1200 individuals and families.

Esperanza has engaged in high quality housing counseling in Philadelphia since 1989. The Esperanza branch office in Philadelphia assists well over 600 persons each year, nearly 50% of which are foreclosure-related cases with an 80% success rate at resolving foreclosure. Esperanza has served as a HUD-approved intermediary since 2009 and administered a network of multiple housing counseling agencies since 2008. Esperanza’s local housing counseling efforts and its network have served over 11,292 families since inception.

Esperanza is the largest Hispanic faith-based community development corporation in the United States. Founded in 1987, its purpose is to strengthen the Hispanic community nationwide by raising awareness and identifying resources through a network of more than 12,000 participating Hispanic faith groups and churches in 42 states representing 27 countries of origin. Esperanza’s capacity to serve as a national housing counseling intermediary includes nearly two decades of delivering housing counseling in Philadelphia and experiences working with faith and community based organizations nationally since 2002 to provide training, technical assistance and programmatic and capacity-building sub-awards. For more information about Esperanza’s work, please call 215-324-0746 or visit www.esperanza.us.


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