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Help Keep Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordable

Posted on 10. Feb, 2014 by in Actions, Blog, Education Actions, Homeownership Protection Actions, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Updates

You’ve probably heard about changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) under a bill entitled the Biggert-Waters Act. The changes raise rates to reflect true flood risk, and were intended to make the program more financially sustainable.


Read More…

Louisiana Home Protection Act Makes it to the House!

Posted on 23. May, 2013 by in Actions, Homeownership Protection Actions, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Updates

We’ve got great news! Thanks to all your hard work, the Louisiana Home Protection Act (SB 27) made it through the Senate.  We can’t thank you enough! Now comes the hard part: Senator Broome is moving this important foreclosure prevention bill through the House, and we need your help.

Please click to here to send an email to your Representative and prevent needless foreclosures.

If passed, the bill would improve homeownership protection by making information available about free housing counseling or legal services for homeowners facing sheriff’s sale.

GNOFHAC’s Seth Weingart Discusses Rising Insurance Cost on NPR

Posted on 15. Oct, 2012 by in Blog, Homeownership Protection Actions, Homeownership Protection Media & Pubs

Last week, the radio program Marketplace, which airs on NPR, featured a segment that interviewed GNOFHAC Homeownership Protection Project Director Seth Weingart.  The story focused on the rising cost of homeowners’ insurance on the Gulf Coast and the role it plays in foreclosures.

To hear the full NPR broadcast click here.

Staff Interview: Seth Weingart, Homeownership Protection Project Director

Posted on 05. Sep, 2012 by in Blog, Homeownership Protection Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

What is you current role in the office?

I manage the home ownership protection projects and give foreclosure and post-purchase housing counseling.

Can you describe some of your day-to-day work in the office?

I assist clients that are in danger of foreclosure with their financial information– and anything else they might require –so that I can work with banks on their behalf to modify their mortgages. I also work with clients to review Road Home files, to see if they’re eligible for any additional assistance to finish repairing their homes. I’m also responsible for all grant reporting related to our housing counsel grants. Read More…

Staff Interview: Giazzlyn Brumfield, Homeownership Specialist

Posted on 11. Jul, 2012 by in Blog, Homeownership Protection Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

What is your current role in the office?

I am a Certified Homeowner Specialist. I deal with the Foreclosure intervention Program, HOP, and therefore assist homeowners to avoid foreclosure as much as possible. If we are not successful in that, we will at least advise them of transitional options.

Can you describe some of your day-to-day work in the office?

Most of the day I spend my time negotiating with mortgage companies on homeowners behalf. If not negotiating, I’m submitting paperwork, sending packages on the homeowner behalf, and other days I spend time conducting intakes, where I gather information needed to process hardship packages to send to lenders. Read More…

Housing Counseling Saves Homes

Posted on 24. May, 2012 by in Blog, Homeownership Protection Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

Download the report

Click to download the report

This recently released HUD study, Foreclosure Counseling Outcome Study: Final Report, shows that foreclosure prevention counseling helps homeowners keep their homes. This backs up what we at the Fair Housing Action Center have been saying for years: housing counseling works, and more funding needs to be made available for programs like the Homeownership Protection Project that help prevent unnecessary foreclosures.

According to the study, most homeowners attempted to contact their mortgage company when they fell behind on their mortgage, but were unsuccessful in negotiating with their mortgage company on their own. With the help of a certified housing counselor, 69% of participants were able to resolve their delinquency and become current on their loan. Homeowners who sought counseling before becoming delinquent had the best chance of staying current on their mortgage, with nearly 70% still in their homes 18 months later. Read More…

Don’t Let the National Flood Insurance Program Expire!

Posted on 02. May, 2012 by in Actions, Homeownership Protection Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

After 13 short-term extensions over the last three years, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is once again set to expire at the end of this month. The NFIP provides vital flood insurance for thousands of households across Louisiana, and the lapse of the NFIP presents an unacceptable risk to vulnerable property owners.

The full Senate should pass the flood reform bill, a bipartisan bill that will protect taxpayers, help the environment, and ensure that the flood program can continue to help families who live in harm’s way— including a five year extension that avoids short term fixes. Take action now!

The House has already passed a version with over 400 yea votes, and the Senate Banking Committee passed a similar bill unanimously, both which extend NFIP by five years. Now, the full Senate needs to pass the bill. Let the Senate know it should take up legislation to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, before it’s too late.

Senate Mark Up, But Tough Road for Housing Funding Ahead

Posted on 24. Apr, 2012 by in Blog, Education Actions, Enforcement Actions, Homeownership Protection Actions, Participate (for sidebar), Policy Updates

US CapitolAt the end of last week, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, including Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, passed the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee’s 2013 appropriations bill.  Despite an allocation to the Subcommittee at levels below FY 2012, housing received $34.96 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion above the President’s FY 2013 request (due to offsets in receipts from Ginnie Mae and FHA).

While that may seem like great news for housing advocates nationwide, the Senate bill faces a tough road ahead: because the House version, expected later this week, will reflect close to $30 billion less in discretionary spending, resolution of differences between House and Senate versions could prove extremely difficult. Read More…

Can’t Bank on Wells Fargo for Housing

Posted on 17. Apr, 2012 by in Blog, Homeownership Protection Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

Blighted bank-owned propertyWe talk a lot about how predatory loans were targeted at racial minorities, but it turns out discrimination doesn’t stop at foreclosure.  The National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) and four of its member organizations are challenging the ethics of Wells Fargo & CO. and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. by filing a housing discrimination complaint. The complaint was filed because of an undercover investigation of Wells Fargo’s bank-owned foreclosed properties- NFHA found that in white neighborhoods these properties were better maintained than in non-white neighborhoods.

NFHA did an investigation of foreclosed properties owned by Wells Fargo in eight metropolitan areas; Dayton, Ohio, Atlanta, Georgia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Oakland, California, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Dallas, Texas, Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, DC. In each of these areas, NFHA investigators came with the same conclusion that more Wells Fargo properties in white neighborhoods were well kept and maintained, while Wells Fargo properties in non-white neighborhoods had many deficiencies. A very small percentage of the Wells Fargo properties in white neighborhoods had similar deficiencies. Some of the deficiencies include water damage, no “for sale” signs, overgrown lawns, broken windows and doors, and trash on the property. Read More…

Urge Louisiana to Prioritize Home Rebuilding!

Posted on 09. Mar, 2012 by in Actions, Homeownership Protection Actions, Participate (for sidebar)

Yesterday the Times-Picayune ran a story on an important effort we’ve been spearheading to get people back in their houses.

Instead of fighting blight and getting people back in their homes, the Louisiana Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) is spending close to 90% of funds on home elevation, not reconstruction. The program has close to $300 million left— the last large pot of funding left to rebuild homes and eradicate blight.

By steering funding towards elevation, the program primarily benefits people who are back in their homes, rather than those needing to rebuild.

Join us and our 50 supporting partners in asking the State to:

  • Review all applicants and prioritize households that applied for reconstruction money
  • Prioritize homeowners that face action by the City of New Orleans because their property may be blighted but they are still awaiting funding to reconstruct
  • All Road Home Option 1 recipients should be eligible for the individual mitigation measures, such as hurricane shutters

No one should be left out just because the State made a mistake. Tell them that you support funding for home reconstruction.