Guidewell Expands Homebuyer Education Programs and Mortgage Solutions Counseling with Big HUD Grant Increase

Guidewell Financial Solutions (CCCSMD) has been awarded $398,200 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide education and counseling in nine states. The sizable increase, up from a mere $27,000 as a subgrantee in 2017, recognizes the Maryland nonprofit agency’s growth as an approved provider.  

“We are incredibly excited to partner directly with HUD on our first national grant, which will enable us to support 1,800 people wherever they are on their homeownership journey,” said Guidewell President and CEO Helene Raynaud. “Everyone faces both challenges and opportunities in the course of their financial lives, particularly when it comes to housing. Our certified counselors are solutions focused and can help people sort through their options and make the best decision for their personal situation.

Guidewell has steadily expanded first-time homeownership programs, adding branch locations in California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Partnerships with Consumer Education Services, Inc. and TakeCharge America reach consumers in North Carolina and Arizona. The agency’s call center infrastructure has greatly increased its capacity to provide counseling, and the addition of staff with industry experience and expertise has improved service quality.

“Since 2009, Consumer Education Services Inc. (CESI) has been serving individuals and families with an extensive program of homebuyer education, foreclosure prevention, reverse mortgage counseling and credit education through our HUD certified Homeownership Center.” Said Mike Croxson, President and CEO of CESI.

“Our partnership with Guidewell and TakeCharge America is a tremendous opportunity to collaborate and expand our reach as we work together to support these families and help them achieve their dream of homeownership, as well as empower them to build economic security for their future,” said Croxson.

 “As a pioneer in nonprofit financial counseling, we have always worked to offer consumers guidance where it’s needed most. Right now, new homebuyers are in great need of financial education so they start their journeys on solid footing, preempting future financial setbacks,” said Take Charge America CEO David Richardson.

“We are eager to partner with Guidewell Financial Solutions and provide housing counseling in our home state of Arizona. Together, we can greatly impact a wide range of individuals, families and communities,” he said. 

Counseling improves housing outcomes for homebuyers, homeowners, and renters. Last year, HUD published research findings summarizing the impact of housing counseling has on families’ housing options and choices. In addition, recent research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Urban Institute continue to find housing counselors provide substantial benefits for first time homebuyers and families struggling to prevent foreclosure.

HUD’s $47 million in funding will be distributed among 31 national and regional and six multi-state organizations,19 State Housing Finance Agencies (SHFAs) and 207 local housing counseling agencies and community-based organizations that assist low- and moderate-income families to improve their housing conditions.

For over 50 years, Guidewell Financial Solutions (also known as CCCMD – Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Maryland and Delaware, Inc.) has helped consumers understand where their money is going and empowered them through education to make a realistic budget, pay down debt and achieve their goals. Approved in July 2018 as a HUD National Intermediary, Guidewell Financial Solutions provides housing counseling to include: Pre-purchase/homebuying, home maintenance/post-purchase, foreclosure prevention, rental, reverse mortgage and HECM default counseling, as well as in-person and online homebuyer workshops. Our services are available in English and Spanish.

CESI is a nonprofit provider of personal financial education and solutions headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina with a mission to enhance economic security for everyone they serve. Since 1998, their Homeownership Center has helped hundreds of thousands of families nationwide  work through their financial challenges to find affordable housing solutions.

Founded in 1987, Take Charge America, Inc. is a national nonprofit agency headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona offering financial education and counseling services with a mission to help people achieve self-reliance and stability. The agency offers foreclosure prevention services as well as pre-purchase, homebuying and reverse mortgage counseling.

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