Dec 27, 2010 7:18 PM by Matt Stafford
Recent history in the housing market has shown the importance of buyers entering into good loans. The government just gave out nearly $73 million to work on seeing more of them in the future; and part of the money is coming to Colorado Springs.
Employees at the non-profit Partners in Housing had good news coming back from holiday break.
"We had been awarded our full request on the housing counseling grant," explains Erin Taylor, the Development Director for Partners in Housing.
They primarily focus on helping the homeless, but expanding their role, Partners in Housing holds home buying counseling the first Saturday of every month.
Last year, in a tough economy, they got about $10,000 dollars less than the $36,000 they're getting for 2011.
"I know we're in an economic recovery, but times are still very, very tough for the non-profits in the community," says Taylor.
So the money goes a long ways, not just locally but across the country. The federal government's Housing and Urban Development division was able to pump out nearly $73 million to similar projects -- 13 percent more than last year. It's trying to keep people in their homes, and point them toward making good decisions when they buy them.
"If we can get them using counseling, pre-purchase counseling -- which is what these funds support -- we really can help prevent them from making bad decisions up front," explains Frank Stampf, Executive Director of Partners in Housing.
U.C.C.S. Senior Economist Fred Crowley says we've had a high year for foreclosures in El Paso County, and that can have a big impact on the economy.
"When you have several homes on the same street foreclosing, housing prices take a hit -- that's part of the housing problem right now." says Crowley. But just like a surge in foreclosures intensified the recession, Crowley says more good loans could speed up the recovery.
"We need to make sure people can make good, smart investment decisions; buy a home when you can afford it, not before you can afford it," Crowley advises. Also, he says take help when you can get it; buying a home is complicated, and with such a large investment you want to do it right.
For information on home-buying counseling provided through the grant with Partners in Housing, click here to visit the non-profit's website. There you can find phone numbers and more information on the public and private counseling sessions.
To see other grant recipients, click here.