WASHINGTON -The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has granted the National Credit Union Foundation almost $500,000 which some credit unions will be able to use to fund counseling programs for low income members seeking to move from publicly subsidized rental housing to home ownership. HUD’s Conventional Housing Counseling program and Section 8 Voucher Housing Counseling program share in the funding, with the former granting $266,000 and the latter granting $224,000. The two grants are alike in that they will fund credit unions who wish to work with low income members seeking to buy homes. The conventional program supplies financial advice to potential homeowners in areas such as credit improvement, money management, and avoidance of predatory lenders. Existing homeowners also benefit from the program by learning how to avoid delinquency and default, restructure debt, and keep up with home maintenance, the NCUF said. The Section 8 Voucher program has similar aims but will involve credit unions partnering with housing agencies in their areas on the work. Credit unions in Vermont, Texas, California and Massachusetts will take part, according to Gary Officer, NCUF Executive Director.

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