A.G. Schneiderman Announces $60 Million Commitment To Fund Housing Counseling And Legal Services For Struggling Homeowners Announces
Request For Applications For A.G.’s Homeowner Protection Program
Schneiderman: Funding Housing Counseling And Legal Services Will Help Struggling New Yorkers Keep Their Homes
HUD Secretary Donovan: New York’s Program Is A Model For How Mortgage Settlement Funds Should Be Used Nationwide
HAUPPAUGE – At an event at the Long Island Housing Partnership, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the launch of the Homeowner Protection Program, his office’s commitment of $60 million over three years to fund housing counseling and legal services for struggling New York homeowners. Today’s announcement coincides with the release of the Request for Applications (RFA) for the Attorney General’s program for service providers to begin the process of helping homeowners. The Attorney General was joined by U.S. Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan, homeowners, and representatives from agencies that will be partners in the effort.
“The rise in foreclosures across New York is troubling, but this isn’t just a matter of numbers: each foreclosure represents a devastating loss for a family and a community. This program puts homeowners first, and will get our neighborhoods back on track,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Funding housing counseling and legal services is an essential first step to help more families stay in their homes and avoid foreclosure. As we continue to investigate the mortgage crisis that has hurt communities in every corner of this state, we must ensure that homeowners get the expert guidance and legal representation they need to protect their rights before it's too late. ”
The funds to be awarded through the RFA process represent a portion of the millions ofdollars that New York received as a result of the national mortgage servicing settlement that was announced in February between the five largest mortgage servicing banks, 49 states, and the federal government over foreclosure abuses.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan hailed Attorney General Schneiderman’s use of the settlement funds to directly assist homeowners who are still struggling. Secretary Donovan said, "Since the settlement was announced I have met with state attorneys general across the country to urge them to use these settlement dollars to help homeowners. Not only has Attorney General Schneiderman joined many of his colleagues in making that commitment, he is moving to get these dollars out to housing counseling and legal services groups so that homeowners can benefit directly. This program is a national model for how the settlement money should be spent. The leadership that Attorney General Schneiderman showed in helping to get this historic settlement completed is why homeowners like Sabrina Lacy can now sleep easier at night.”
The Office of the Attorney General has retained the Center for New York City Neighborhoods (CNYCN) and the Empire Justice Center (EJC) to act as “Anchor Partners” for the funding program. They will assist with the administration and management of grants. CNYCN will cover grants in New York City and EJC will assist with grants throughout the rest of the state. Both organizations have a long history of grant management for government programs, as well as direct training, technical assistance and support to direct service providers in the areas of housing counseling and legal services. Read More...