Local Housing Organization Helps South Florida’s Hardest-Hit Residents
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Local Housing Organization Helps South Florida’s Hardest-Hit Residents

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Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida Helping Residents Most Affected by Current Housing Crisis

Miami, FL – May 16, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — During the ongoing housing crisis, more that 54,000 South Floridians have been faced with foreclosures and have had to make the tough choice as to whether to fight to save their homes or walk away. Residents stuck in upside-down mortgages are often not aware of their available options when faced with foreclosure proceedings and can be more susceptible to loan modification scams; miss out on mortgage aid opportunities and, as consequence, lose their homes which could have been prevented.

Aiming to help hardest-hit residents, Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida (NHSSF), a local housing nonprofit organization with more than 30 years experience promoting responsible homeownership and helping homeowners in foreclosure, is educating homeowners about foreclosure prevention options and, through programs like the Florida Hardest-Hit Fund (HHF), assisting homeowners in applying for mortgage payment assistance that may help save their homes.

The HHF is a $7.6-billion federal government-funded program that has the potential to help more than 40,000 homeowners statewide, by making mortgage payments to lenders on behalf of qualified homeowners (for a maximum of six months, with a cap of $12,000). NHSSF is an approved HHF Advisor Agency for the program, which is being administered by Florida Housing Finance Corporation (Florida Housing), and will provided eligibility determination for those homeowners who apply for funding residing in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Among the eligibility requirements for the Hardest-Hit Fund, the mortgage borrower must have suffered a hardship such as unemployment or underemployment and must live in a homesteaded property with mortgage payments no more than 180 days past due; for a complete list and explanation of eligibility criteria, visit the official HHF application website at www.FLHardestHitHelp.org.

NHSSF will also aid local residents with completing the online, English-language application. Services provided by NHSSF will include providing internet access for the application process and/or one-on-one language translations for local Spanish and Creole residents who would like to apply for the program.

“Through the Hardest-Hit program, NHSSF is giving all eligible homeowners the opportunity apply for the help they need when they are no longer able to pay their mortgages,” said Arden Shank, President and CEO of NHSSF. “Given the diversity of South Florida, we feel that it is very important to help everyone, no matter what their spoken language, apply for this valuable program because the housing crisis hurts everyone in our community.”

NHSSF’s dedication to saving South Florida homes extends beyond the Hardest-Hit Fund and offers other foreclosure prevention options as a HUD-approved counseling agency, through which NHSSF counselors work to assess applicants’ specific housing situation and provide recommendations on how to prevent foreclosure on their property. For more than 30 years, NHSSF has also been educating South Floridians on all aspects of responsible homeownership – from the search for the perfect place, to financing, and to maintenance after closing. Because of the current housing crisis, NHSSF’s focus has evolved to include helping residents facing foreclosure save their homes through a variety of prevention services, including foreclosure educational clinics, one-on-one counseling and referral recommendations. In 2010, NHSSF was able to prevent foreclosure on 518 households with an estimated value of homes $93,240,000 USD in South Florida and the organization hopes to aid more residents in 2011.

Homeowners who would like to find out more or apply for the Hardest-Hit Fund, or who are looking for help in regards to a foreclosure proceeding are invited to call one of the NHSSF offices to learn more about their options. Miami-Dade County residents can call 305.751.5511 and Broward County residents can call 954.564.4037. Additional information about NHSSF and the organization’s programs and services can be found at www.nhssf.org.

For more information about NHSSF or to arrange an interview with Arden Shank to discuss his NHSSF’s homeownership programs and the organization’s involvement in the Hardest-Hit Fund, please contact Amanda Williams at awilliams (at) thinkinkpr (dot) com or 305.749.5342 ext. 238.

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About Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida (NHSSF)
Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida (NHSSF) is a local non-profit organization that turns housing dreams into reality by providing affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization services throughout Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. Sponsored in part by Miami-Dade County, services and classes are conducted in English, Spanish, and Creole. A certified NeighborWorks® Homeownership Center, NHSSF is also a chartered member of the NeighborWorks® network, a nationwide network of 245 trained and certified community development organizations at work in more than 4,400 communities across America. For more information about NHSSF or to donate to the organization, please visit www.nhssf.org.

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