A press release from Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity.
Before the pandemic struck, Tacoma Habitat was quietly working with HUD to become a certified housing counseling organization. Little did we know that in short order, this service would be more in demand than ever for our community.
Since March of 2020, our small staff has served more than 400 clients with housing counseling—with one full-time housing counselor, two employees for whom housing counseling is just part of their work, and a small network of contractors.
Their hard work has helped people like Sunny, who was paying 95% of her monthly income toward her mortgage. Tacoma Habitat’s housing counseling team worked with her to obtain a new loan, refinancing her mortgage, which resulted in a savings of $400 per month.
Our team also helped Ann, a hopeful future homebuyer. Ann came to the program with several unpaid bills and some loans that had gone into collections. Tacoma Habitat’s counseling team helped Ann clear the collections with the creditors, including lowering the payout on the highest collection by a little more than half. Ann’s credit score has already increased to the point where she qualifies to apply for homeownership through Habitat.
As demand for counseling increases, Tacoma Habitat is working with Pierce County to advance a request for American Rescue Plan Act funding to increase the HUD certified housing counselor network in Pierce County, to ensure that clients are able to easily access and receive housing counseling services to prevent foreclosure.