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California awards $9.4 million to homeowner help agencies
Twenty-one organizations on Thursday landed a total of $9.4 million in grants from California’s National Mortgage Settlement Grant program, Attorney General Kamala Harris said. Five of the agencies — named below — wrote grant proposals to serve the Inland region of Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
“The foreclosure crisis has inflicted wide-ranging and deep harm to California homeowners and communities,” Harris said. “These grants will give homeowners and families the financial and legal tools they need to recover.” The funds are the result of a March 2012 settlement with the nation’s five largest banks, providing as much as $18 billion worth of homeowner and borrower benefits or assistance to California.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Photo courtesy of The Press Telegram blog online.
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An explanation of the recent grant proposals and agencies involved
by: Debra Gruszecki, from The Press Telegram, April 18, 2013
“The foreclosure crisis has inflicted wide-ranging and deep harm to California homeowners and communities,” Harris said. “These grants will give homeowners and families the financial and legal tools they need to recover.” The funds are the result of a March 2012 settlement with the nation’s five largest banks, providing as much as $18 billion worth of homeowner and borrower benefits or assistance to California. Last month, Harris
announced a $1 million grant from the settlement to the National Housing Law Project. This $9.4 million round of grant money will be applied to programs that provide or expand access to free legal assistance, foreclosure intervention aid, homeowner education and financial literacy clinics, blight remediation, fraud prevention and employment support services.
Services will be offered in American sign language and more than a dozen languages, including Armenian, Cantonese, Farsi, Hmong, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
Here are the agencies that were awarded funds to serve this region:
1) Bet Tzedek Legal Services, $1.75 million
Languages/Populations: Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Farsi, Armenian and Russian. Low income, minorities and veterans.
Project: Create a one-stop model and interactive computer-based interview system to improve access to education, housing counseling and legal services for elderly, minority and low-income homeowners. Offer training for a first-responder network of legal aid and housing counselors, religious leaders and other community-based organizations.
Information: (323) 939-0506 or www.bettzedek.org
2) Inland Empire Latino Lawyers Association, $35,000
Languages/Populations: Monolingual Spanish. Low income and illiterate.
Project: Assist tenants of foreclosed properties in unlawful detainer actions and actions brought in small claims court involving the return of tenants’ security deposits and other issues.
Information: (951) 369-3009 or www.iellaaid.org
3) Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board, $850,000
Languages/Populations: Spanish. Low income, rural desert populations, disabled, Native American Indians and veterans.
Project: Roll out a new program, PATHS, to provide a personalized, “whole family” approach to housing stabilization and wealth building to under-served populations in hard-hit areas of of Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
Information: (800) 321-0911 or www.ifhmb.com
4) Mission Economic Development Agency, $550,000
Project: Provide outreach, homeowner counseling, foreclosure intervention, financial education and supportive services to low/moderate-income Latino families. Programming will include mobile labs.
Information: (415) 282-3334 or www.medasf.org
5) National Telemarketing Victim Call Center, $100,000
Languages: Spanish, Farsi, Russian, Mandarin, Tagalog.
Project: Provide fraud prevention education to 30,000 consumers across the state who are at risk of mortgage-related mass marketing fraud. Help consumers understand scammers’ marketing pitches, and work with victims of a mass marketing fraud to seek redress and file complaints with the appropriate enforcement agency.
Information: (310) 351-0024 or www.ntvcc.org