Governor Brown Raids Housing Counseling Funds

May 16, 2012–As part of the $26 billion National Mortgage Settlement announced earlier this year, big bank scontributed $400 million to Attorney General Kamala Harris’s office to administer the relief from the settlement.Just last Friday, Attorney General Harris announced that more than half of the funding would be given to housing counselors and legal service agencies who help homeowners avoid foreclosure.

Then, yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown announced his May revision to the state’s budget, which included his plans to raid those funds to plug budget holes. Governor Brown is following suit after several other states have announced their own intentions to raid this necessary funding. Click here for the New York Times coverage on this issue.

CRC is strongly opposed to the Governor’s plans to raid this funding. Housing counselors and legal service agencies have been struggling to provide necessary services to the millions of homeowners across the state who are struggling to stay in their homes and prevent foreclosure. In CRC’s latest survey, housing counselors reported that they expect demand for their services to increase this year, while their funding continues to decrease. Attorney General Harris negotiated with the big banks for this funding to expand the capacity of housing counselors and service providers. This $400 million needs to be preserved for the purposes of housing counseling, so that counselors can try to meet the growing demand for their services.