Neighborhood Housing and Development Corp. receives $25K to help prevent foreclosures

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Russ Hirshik, left, a housing counselor, and Anne Conklin, the administrative assistant with the Neighborhood Housing and Development Corp., goes through paperwork in Hirshik's office, on Tuesday in Gainesville.
Russ Hirshik, left, a housing counselor, and Anne Conklin, the administrative assistant with the Neighborhood Housing and Development Corp., goes through paperwork in Hirshik's office, on Tuesday in Gainesville.

The Neighborhood Housing and Development Corp. — a nonprofit counseling agency — has recently been awarded $25,000 through the NeighborWorks America Housing Stability Program.

The grant will better assist housing counselors who help homeowners and renters who may be experiencing eviction, foreclosure or facing homelessness.

Neighborhood Housing and Developing Corp.

gainAt the Neighborhood Housing and Developing Corp. (NHDC), located at 633 NW Eighth Ave, housing counselors help homeowners create a sustainable budget so they don't fall behind on their mortgage or rent payments. Counselors also will communicate with landlords to help the renter workout out a payment deal.

"We would try and work something out with the landlord and say, 'We've created a situation where we feel that the budget works for making these payments. and be keep making them and can we find a way to work something out,' " said Russ Hirshik, housing counselor for the NHDC.

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The national program NeighborWorks America was able to award 131 organizations with funding to address foreclosure and eviction in communities. In total it was able to provide more than $88 million in grants.

The grant money came from the America Rescue Plan Act, which led to NeighborWorks America creating the Housing Stability Counseling Program. According to the press release, the national organization received 144 applications requesting funding.

NHDC applied for the grant toward the end of June and received notice that the nonprofit would receive the award on Sept. 8.

Russ Hirshik, a housing counselor, from left, Janice Crews, the special projects coordinator, and Anne Conklin, the administrative assistant with the Neighborhood Housing & Development Corporation, at the group's office on Tuesday in Gainesville.
Russ Hirshik, a housing counselor, from left, Janice Crews, the special projects coordinator, and Anne Conklin, the administrative assistant with the Neighborhood Housing & Development Corporation, at the group's office on Tuesday in Gainesville.

The grant money can't go toward an emergency fund used to help homeowners and tenants pay rent or mortgage, however, it does go toward hiring more counselors to provide services, their training, administration and marketing.

"This money was specifically earmarked by the federal government and handed down to NeighborWorks America to be able to dole and create more opportunities for this kind of funding," Hirshik said.

Homebuyer course

NHDC also offers a $50 homebuyer course.

The course fee is refunded if a homebuyer turns in their closing disclosure," Hirshik said.

The class runs for eight hours and can be taken on either Tuesday or Thursday for two weeks.

Students who decide to take the class have the opportunity to learn about budgeting, working with a credit lender and a real estate agent.

This article originally appeared on The Gainesville Sun: House counseling programs awarded $25,000 to help prevent foreclosures