PROVIDENCE, RI – April 4, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today announced that Rhode Island will receive an additional $634,342 in federal funding to continue providing housing counseling to struggling Rhode Islanders through NeighborWorks America’s National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) program. This funding comes in addition to $564,235 in NeighborWorks grants that Rhode Island received in February, bringing the state’s total this year to nearly $1.2 million.
The federal NeighborWorks America program is awarding $545,782 to Rhode Island Housing, $63,540 to West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation, and $25,020 to Community Works Rhode Island (CWRI) to help stabilize neighborhoods hit hard by the foreclosure and economic crisis; provide counseling for homeowners facing foreclosure; train foreclosure counselors; and assist with expenses related to implementing the NFMC program to help Rhode Islanders navigating the mortgage-modification system.
“I commend these organizations for helping homeowners and communities throughout Rhode Island. The loan modification process can be difficult to navigate and these additional funds will help more Rhode Islanders get the information, assistance, and guidance they need,” said Reed.
“Our HelpCenter, which is staffed by experienced HUD approved and HHFRI certified counselors, is a safe place where Rhode Islanders at risk of losing their home can go for counseling,” said Richard Godfrey, Executive Director of Rhode Island Housing. “The services at the HelpCenter are free and we encourage Rhode Islanders to call the HelpCenter (401-457-1130) at the first sign of having difficulty making a mortgage payment. The sooner people come to us for help, the more options they will have.”
“West Elmwood Housing is glad for the support of Congress to NeighborWorks America that allows us to make a difference in the lives of working families that are struggling to retain their homes,” said Sharon Conard-Wells, Executive Director of West Elmwood Housing Development Corporation.
“Community Works Rhode Island is honored to be a recipient of this funding, which allows us to continue our work for those who are threatened with losing their homes through foreclosure. These funds are essential to our work providing financial counseling and loan modification assistance in English and Spanish to those who are victims of this financial crisis. Keeping people in their homes strengths our community and our state,” said Alice Greenan, Interim Operations Director of Community Works Rhode Island.
According to a new report issued by the Urban Institute that evaluated NFMC funding, homeowners who received NFMC counseling, compared to homeowners who didn’t work with an NFMC counselors, lowered their monthly mortgage payment by $176, on average; were nearly twice as likely to obtain a mortgage modification; and, were at least 67 percent more likely to remain current on their mortgage nine months after receiving a loan modification.
NeighborWorks America, a public non-profit organization established by Congress in 1978, is a leader in community development and affordable housing. In fiscal year 2011, NeighborWorks assisted an estimated 263,000 families nationwide.