BOSTON – June 23, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the City of Boston’s Home Center has been awarded a $158,475 grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Division of Bank. The grant is part of $1.3 million in statewide grants that will fund first-time homeownership counseling programs and foreclosure prevention education centers throughout the Commonwealth.
The Boston Home Center (BHC), part of the City’s Department of Neighborhood Development, helps Boston residents purchase, improve and keep their homes. BHC provides training and financial assistance to first-time home buyers, as well as guidance and funding for homeowners’ house improvements and counseling to help families avoid foreclosures. The $158,475 grant will be applied to these programs.
“I am proud of the progress we’ve made on preventing home foreclosures and this grant will help the Boston Home Center continue its efforts towards affordable homeownership for all,” said Mayor Walsh. “This grant supports Boston’s mission to provide foreclosure prevention and housing stability for families in all of our neighborhoods, and I thank the Commonwealth for their partnership in achieving these goals.”
The Boston Home Center’s foreclosure prevention and intervention services are key to providing Boston homeowners with the assistance needed create secure housing. The BHC addresses issues early in the legal process so homeowners are not petitioned and/or foreclosed upon. The BHC and its partners in the non-profit community were able to successfully prevent 51 foreclosures in the first quarter of 2016. Twenty-one of those prevented foreclosures were at the petition stage, the final step before foreclosure.
The BHC will use these new funds to:
Maintain and expand the foreclosure prevention and intervention work of the Boston Home Center and its nonprofit counseling partners,
Establish new partnerships with key organizations assisting homeowners and
Create programs serving linguistic minority groups in all Boston neighborhoods.
The grant will also help fund partner non-profit agencies who provide regional foreclosure prevention counseling services, and help those agencies better market their prevention programs. Non-profit partners provide free confidential foreclosure counseling to Boston homeowners.
The BHC is also expanding its services to include a Home Preservation component to better serve those who are struggling with balancing their finances, debt and expenses due to other economic conditions which might put their housing situation in jeopardy. Residents who reach out to the BHC will be provided services that include budgeting, expense reductions, benefit analysis and assistance in obtaining benefits or applying for other resources to help stabilize their expenses and housing costs.