Working Everyday To Provide Proper Access to Housing since 1973
The Housing and Social Services program at the Houston Area Urban League was created to fulfill one purpose: to provide resources to our most vulnerable individuals and ensure they have access to housing. The United Nations has stated that adequate housing is a “fundamental human right.” We couldn't agree more! Housing provides security and protection. Housing gives a sense of belonging, but importantly, it provides dignity. Since 1973, HAUL has worked tirelessly to deliver communities with the necessary housing resources to ensure individuals are protected from experiencing homelessness. We also work to provide the proper counsel to individuals searching for affordable rental housing, homeownership and protect consumers with sound recommendations regarding housing matters through professional guidance.
Pre-purchase Homebuyer Education Workshop and Pre-purchase/Home buying Counseling
HAUL Housing Department works to assist clients in the First-Time Homebuyer and Housing Program over a one-year period. Pre-purchase homebuyers participate in an intensive six-hour group education and are scheduled for a minimum of two hours of optional one-on-one counseling. Credit Reports are pulled before the counseling session and are analyzed and reviewed with the client. If necessary, clients are referred to more detailed credit enhancement services. As a final step in counseling, a certificate is issued to the client and discussion regarding issues during homeownership (financing the home, refinancing, mortgage default, foreclosure prevention, sale or transition from the home). Clients are tracked through closing or to a resolution of the housing process.
The curriculum utilized is Keys to Homeownership – 2nd Edition, by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Resolving or Preventing Mortgage Delinquency Workshop
The two-hour-long group education consists of orienting homeowners to HAUL program process and to the default and foreclosure process in their county and with the lender/ servicer. A list of legal agencies or referrals are provided as requested for additional support services. Homeowners are also provided access to optional one-on-one counseling.
Resolving or Preventing Mortgage Delinquency or Default Service
This consists of one-on-one consultations provided to families in times of financial difficulty to prevent mortgage default and assist families facing foreclosure with alternative options. During the counseling session, regarding options available include (refinancing, default, foreclosure prevention, sale, and transition from the home). Additional counseling options include loss mitigation, budgeting and credit, restructuring debt, and establish reinstatement plans. It may also involve helping clients affected by predatory lending, foreclosure prevention strategies, explaining the foreclosure process, providing referrals to other sources.
Telephone Housing Counseling is provided as an alternative to cases where the agency and the client mutually agree on the need for alternative settings due to disasters and rural areas. Housing Phone Assistance is an alternative to both emergency and non-emergencies.
Financial Education workshops educate families with basic money management skills, including goal setting, understanding your money, developing and maintaining a budget, savings, credit/debit, and credit management. The curriculum utilized is Building Wealth, A Beginner’s Guide to Securing Your Financial Future by that Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
Fair Housing Workshops/Fair Housing Initiative Program
This program will assist consumers in The City of Houston, Texas, and the following counties: Harris, Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Waller, Austin, and Montgomery.
The program addresses the Fair Housing Organizations Initiative Mortgage Rescue Component, conducting fair housing and lending workshops and community meetings. HAUL will advocate and provide direct assistance to victims of fair housing and fair lending laws resulting from fraudulent or predatory mortgage rescue schemes. Houston Area Urban League will conduct group and individual housing counseling.
The Houston Area Urban League provides rental counseling in the following areas:
- Budgeting and money management
- Review of credit report
- Information on the application process
- Available subsidies
- The difference between leasing and rental agreements
Additional information is provided on typical expenses as a renter, how to properly communicate with your landlord, recovery of your security deposit, necessary maintenance and repairs, and the importance of understanding your rights and responsibilities as a renter.
The Financial Education and Credit Enhancement Pre-Purchase Program allows homeowners or former homeowners to re-enter the mortgage market more knowledgeable and mortgage ready. This housing counseling service enables HAUL to reach a more significant number of homeowners about to lose their homes and will assist individuals and families in the process of buying a home by improving their creditworthiness by increasing their credit scores. The Financial Education program workshops are scheduled twice per month at no charge to the client.
HAUL’s program will provide Credit Analysis, which includes a comprehensive review of a client’s credit file, Credit Education which provides for financial education covering removals of barriers to homeownership, budgeting, establishing and maintaining credit, and shopping for a loan to purchase a home. Credit Enhancement provides additional credit repair counseling to bring potential borrowers up to standard based on area lender partner programs. Clients will receive 2 hours of orientation, 4 hours of Financial Education, and 8 hours of homebuyer education plus an optional 1 hour of one-on-one counseling and 1 hour of quarterly assessment counseling.
Homeless Assistance Counseling (Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing)
The Houston Area Urban League provides case management to persons who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by preventing households from losing their home or returning to stable housing as quickly as possible. This loss may be due to nonpayment of rent or a mortgage due to the current economic or life crisis. Homeless Assistance includes but is not limited to information regarding emergency shelters, other emergency services, transitional housing, supportive services, and limited financial assistance for related needs (rental, mortgage, utility, and deposits).
Post-Purchase Homeownership GroupEducation and Individual Counseling
Recent homebuyers are inundated with opportunities that encourage many additional new purchases, including sales representatives' suggestions to make immediate improvements, security, appliances, and new car. When first-time homebuyers are approved, we review budgets and make necessary adjustments to ensure the monthly bills are not exceeded. However, within a twelve (12) month period, families can become vulnerable to default and foreclosure due to their lack of understanding of responsibilities associated with homeownership.
HAUL Veteran Support Services assist veterans (HUD Vash referral from VA Case Manager), surviving spouse of a veteran and dependent of a veteran with limited financial assistance for rent or mortgage, financial management, credit counseling and referrals as needed
So many of my clients hate asking for help. I always have to remind them that it doesn’t make them less of a person. When they finally understand that, and that we are not providing handouts, but assisting them with what they need at that moment, and that they can help others in need when they’re able, that makes it all worth it.
HAUL HUD-Certified Housing Counselor
Join us in any upcoming event. Throughout the year, we have various events that promote HAUL and its programs, initiatives to improve the lives of community members. To attend the next event, check out our program calendar today and sign up for the event of your choice.
Without our partners - individuals, organizations, corporations - we would not be able to assist underserved communities throughout the Houston area. Partner with us today and help us fulfill our mission of providing the tools towards economic self-reliance, power, and parity for underserved and historically marginalized communities. Thank you.