Housing Counseling

Need Housing Counseling? There’s an app for that!

Home is where the heart is, it’s true, but what if you don’t have a home or you’re at risk of losing the one you have? The fine print of a lease agreement or the complexity of buying your first home puts most of us at a distinct disadvantage. So, most folks just close their eyes, hold their nose and sign on the dotted line hoping for the best. But wait, there’s help out there!

HUD’s Housing Counseling Program funds housing counseling agencies all across the country that provide expert, unbiased guidance and information to help families and individuals meet their housing needs and improve their financial situations. HUD grants also assist housing counselors to act as an important safeguard against scams and discrimination, and to act as an important gateway to local, state, federal and private housing assistance.

HUD’s new mobile app allows smartphone and tablet users to locate housing counselors in their own area. There is strong evidence that housing counseling can help distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure and obtain more favorable modifications. In addition, pre-purchase counseling can help individuals determine if they are ready for homeownership, and connect them with safer and more affordable mortgages.

Housing counseling can also be instrumental in helping displaced families find alternate housing in the wake of natural disasters such as the many thousands of families forced from their homes following Hurricane Sandy. So, there’s help out there and it’s just a touch away!

Housing Foreclosure Assistance

Are you having trouble keeping up with your mortgage payments? Have you received a notice from your lender asking you to contact them?

If you are unable to make your mortgage payment, here is a top 10 list to help:

  1. Don’t ignore the problem.
  2. Contact your lender as soon as you realize that you have a problem.
  3. Open and respond to all mail from your lender.
  4. Know your mortgage rights.
  5. Understand foreclosure prevention options.
  6. Contact a HUD-approved housing counselor.
  7. Prioritize your spending.
  8. Use your assets.
  9. Avoid foreclosure prevention companies.
  10. Don’t lose your house to foreclosure recovery scams!

Click for more detail about these tips for avoiding foreclosure.

Homeless Assistance

If you are and/or your family are homeless, call 211 24 hours a day for immediate assistance. 2-1-1 will screen and assess your situation to find the more appropriate place for you and your family to stay. 2-1-1 has real-time access to homeless shelter bed occupancy information. This information is also available online 24 hours a day.

Click here to view Pinellas homeless shelter availability.

Helpful Links About Homelessness