- Associated Press - Monday, May 26, 2014

BARRE, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont community action agency has won a federal grant to help it counsel people to keep them in their homes.

The Central Vermont Community Action Council, Inc. of Barre was awarded $17,548 by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to help residents find housing, and make more informed choices about paying for it.

“These grants are an essential tool to help families find suitable housing or to keep the homes they have,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “HUD-approved counseling agencies use this funding to support a wide range of services from assisting lower income persons to locate an affordable apartment to helping first-time homebuyers avoid unsustainable mortgages.”

HUD is awarding more than $38 million nationwide that will directly support the housing counseling by state and local agencies.

“The agencies this funding supports are crucial in helping Vermont families on a one-to-one basis to manage their money, navigate the home-buying process, and secure their financial futures,” said HUD New England Regional Administrator Barbara Fields.

National and regional agencies distribute much of HUD’s housing counseling grant funding to community-based organizations that assist low- and moderate-income families to improve their housing conditions. In addition, these larger organizations help improve the quality of housing counseling services and enhance coordination among counseling providers.

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