GreenPath Financial Wellness, a national nonprofit that provides financial counseling, has received a generous grant from Wells Fargo to assist households though the 995Hope Hotline, a nationally known and trusted source of housing counseling. The grant expands access to renters and homeowners looking to avoid foreclosure or eviction in the face of uncertainties about extensions of COVID-related mortgage and renters’ relief programs.
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“Having a safe, healthy and affordable place to call home is essential, and this grant is part of our commitment to help nonprofits like GreenPath provide urgent housing services to vulnerable populations,” said Eileen Fitzgerald, head of housing affordability philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “The economic fallout of COVID-19 has caused housing instability for far too many people, and Wells Fargo believes that supporting housing counseling is an important step in keeping people housed.”
During a global pandemic that caused widespread income loss, unemployment, and illness, many found themselves unable to make mortgage payments or pay rent on time. Nonprofit housing counselors have helped homeowners and renters navigate available federal and state housing assistance while providing independent advice on foreclosure prevention, credit issues, debt management, and long-term financial health. The work of housing counselors also helps address systemic inequalities related to housing in an effort to close the housing security gap.
Research shows that low-to-moderate income homeowners and Black and Hispanic households are disproportionately likely to face greater hardship. A significant portion of these funds will be dedicated to support communities of color and low-income people’s access to trusted guidance that addresses a household’s entire financial situation, including the importance of balancing housing costs with debt and managing unanticipated hardships. HUD-certified counselors are ready to assist callers with forbearance guidance, loan modification support, and other housing counseling focused on keeping people in their homes.
“Vulnerable households facing housing concerns may get confused by fluctuating mortgage and rent protection deadlines,” said Kristen Holt, president and CEO, GreenPath Financial Wellness. “We’re here to help them understand their options to stay in their homes. The Wells Fargo grant strengthens our ability to meet increased demand, especially among underserved communities, where these services are needed the most.”
“As a trusted national nonprofit, our organization has a long-standing track-record of providing housing counseling. We’ve helped nine million borrowers since the 2008 housing crisis,” added Holt. “Our 995HOPE hotline provides much-needed guidance to help people understand their options and remain in their homes as forbearance and eviction moratoriums end.”
HUD- certified counselors, specifically trained in housing programs, look at a household’s entire financial picture, document steps to catch up and maintain their housing payments, help them understand their mortgage terms and interest rates, and avoid potential scams.
Holt notes: “The sooner people prepare to resume mortgage or rent payments, the better chance they have to reduce financial stress and worry. Experience has shown us that those who take action early have more options and are more likely to achieve their goals. We encourage anyone who is concerned or stressed about making their housing payments reach out now to help navigate these challenging times.
About GreenPath Financial Wellness
As one of the largest financial counseling agencies in the nation, GreenPath Financial Wellness has assisted millions of people with debt and credit management, student loans, homeownership and foreclosure prevention. Headquartered in Michigan, GreenPath and its affiliates work directly with individuals, banks, credit unions and employer partners across the U.S. from more than 33 locations and through phone access and online tools. GreenPath is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Michigan Diversity Council, Texas Diversity Council, and is accredited by the Council on Accreditation. To learn more, visit www.greenpath.org, www.995Hope.org or call 888-995-4673. Follow the nonprofit on Facebook and Instagram @greenpathfinancial and on Twitter @GreenPath.