Washington – NeighborWorks America today announced that foreclosure prevention counselors from three nonprofit organizations funded in part by the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program received awards for excellence in service to homeowners facing foreclosure. Maru Cham at Neighborhood House Association in San Diego, CAwas named the Counselor of the Year; Elizabeth Caton, at Northwest Side Housing Center was named Counseling Innovator of the Year, and Gercide LucatUrban Edge Housing Corporation in Roxbury, MA, won the Excellence in Counselor Perseverance award. Nominations and voting are done by members of the housing counseling community. Each winner will receive her award from NeighborWorks America COO Chuck Wehrwein at the award program’s inaugural event next week at the NeighborWorks Training Institute in Los Angeles, February 27.
“It’s an honor to present these awards to three people who exemplify the hard work, dedication and innovation of the thousands of foreclosure prevention counselors working across the country each day,” said Wehrwein. “The foreclosure crisis may not be on the front pages every day, but these counselors know that there remain many communities and many families struggling to keep their homes or find new suitable and sustainable housing. A lot of these families would have nowhere to turn for help without housing counselors like Maru, Gertrude and Elizabeth.”
The National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling program was launched in December 2007 with funds appropriated by Congress and is administered by NeighborWorks America and since then the program has awarded grants in excess of $650 million to fund foreclosure counseling services to more than 1,700 housing counseling organizations. More than 1.7 million homeowners have received important foreclosure prevention counseling because of the NFMC program.
Foreclosure prevention counseling administered by the NFMC program has been shown to have demonstrable benefits by helping homeowners obtain more favorable mortgage modifications than homeowners who don’t work with a NFMC counselor.
For 35 years, NeighborWorks America has created opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation’s leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.