Washington - Today, U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) announced nearly $1 million in funding for two New Jersey organizations to provide counseling to families and individuals facing foreclosure. The grants were awarded to the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency ($966,407) and Brand New Day, Inc. ($25,020). A total of $59.5 million were awarded to 35 state housing finance agencies (HFAs), 15 Housing and Urban Development-approved housing counseling intermediaries, and 81 community-based NeighborWorks organizations.

"Investing in foreclosure-prevention support and education is about helping New Jersey families stay in their homes and producing a broader economic recovery for everyone," said Sen. Menendez. "Despite the progress we've made at rebuilding our economy, foreclosures were the root cause of the recession, and they continue to be a threat to our families. By helping families keep a roof over their heads, we can also keep property values up, which means entire neighborhoods will reap the economic benefits."

"Keeping New Jerseyans in their homes is a critical priority," said Sen. Lautenberg. "These federal funds will provide guidance for homeowners struggling to make their next mortgage payment and relief to communities suffering from the effects of the foreclosure crisis."

The need for these funds is critical at a time when foreclosures continue to mount and the challenges of unemployment and falling home values remain.

About the National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program

This $475-million program was launched in December of 2007 with funds appropriated by Congress to increase the availability of foreclosure counseling services across the country. The grants are offered to fund foreclosure counseling and provide legal assistance to homeowners at risk of foreclosure. They are also awarded to housing counseling intermediaries approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, qualifying state housing finance agencies (HFAs) and to NeighborWorks organizations. NeighborWorks is a national nonprofit organization created by Congress to provide financial support, technical assistance, and training for community-based revitalization efforts.

For more information about the program, please visit: http://www.nw.org/