WASHINGTON, DC - In an effort to help more Rhode Island families find and responsibly finance affordable housing, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today announced that Rhode Island will receive $213,547 in Housing Counseling Awards. The Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corporation will receive $164,624 and the Urban League of Rhode Island (ULRI) will receive $48,923.

The Housing Counseling grants, which are being awarded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), will provide funding to Rhode Island Housing and the Urban League of Rhode Island to expand their housing counseling services to homebuyers, homeowners, low-to moderate-income renters, and the homeless.

"With rents continuing to skyrocket and more people facing the possibility of losing their homes, housing counseling services have become even more critical. These awards will help make certain that more families have access to housing counselors who can give them advice about how to find affordable rental units, purchase a home, and avoid foreclosure," said Reed, Ranking Member of the Senate Housing and Transportation Subcommittee, which oversees HUD. "We need to ensure that families in Rhode Island can live in safe, high-quality, and affordable housing."

Rhode Island Housing is a self-sustaining public agency that helps Rhode Islanders obtain homes they can afford. The agency offers a variety of loans to homeowners, including low-interest mortgages for first-time homebuyers, reverse equity mortgages for elderly homeowners, and low-interest loans for home repairs. Rhode Island Housing also educates homebuyers and homeowners, and provides grants and finance supportive services to those with the greatest need.

The Urban League of RI (ULRI) works to eliminate racial discrimination and segregation in the state, and seeks parity for Blacks, other minorities, and the poor in every phase of American life. The Urban League implements its mission by providing programs such as their housing for transitional living and permanent affordable placement services.

Senator Reed has repeatedly fought to expand housing counseling services through requests to increase federal spending for the program; his Home Ownership Protection and Enhancement (HOPE) Act of 2007; and his recent amendment to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which improves access to HUD-approved counseling programs by allowing any low- or moderate-income homeowner to be eligible for financial counseling services.