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Congressman Brian Higgins & CHRIC Announce Federal HUD Grant for Housing Counseling in Chautauqua County

Jan 22, 2009
Press Release

 Congressman Brian Higgins and Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation (CHRIC) Executive Director John Murphy announced CHRIC will receive a federal grant totaling approximately $22,000 through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for comprehensive housing counseling.

CHRIC's Housing Counseling business line includes the promotion of homeownership as a way to build wealth for all Chautauqua County families, the provision of foreclosure prevention counseling, and the counseling of senior homeowners who may be interested in Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), more commonly known as 'reverse mortgages'. HECMs allow seniors to tap into the equity of their homes after the age of 62 without having to make payment until the sell their homes.  CHRIC is the most experienced housing counseling agency for foreclosure and reverse mortgage counseling in Chautauqua County.

"The award of approximately $22,000 in housing counseling funding from HUD cements our agency's ability to provide the full array of housing counseling services for Chautauqua County residents.  I have done more than 90 reverse mortgage counseling sessions to help interested seniors use the wealth tied up in their homes to live more comfortably", said John Murphy, executive director of CHRIC.

Congressman Brian Higgins was pleased to see these important resources come into Chautauqua County. "In the current housing environment, having access to counseling expertise for all Chautauqua County residents is important.  The Western New York housing market has not been hit as hard as it has been in other parts of the country, and homeownership remains an achievable goal for many families.  FHA-insured reverse mortgages can improve the quality of life for those on fixed incomes and supplement retirement income to allow senior homeowners to live more comfortably.” 

Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation, CHRIC, is a 30 year old housing and community development non-profit serving all of Chautauqua County. The agency's mission is, "to improve the housing stock of Chautauqua County, and to improve the living conditions of its low-income residents."  CHRIC is a Rural Preservation Company under the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal, and a HUD Housing Counseling agency through NeighborWorks(R) America. CHRIC is also Chautauqua County's designated Fair Housing agency.

CHRIC's offices are located in Mayville, NY. The agency holds a new contract from Chautauqua County to provide 20 new homeowners outside the cities of Jamestown and Dunkirk with down payment and energy-rehab grants of up to $20,000. For rural homeowners needing safe and sanitary well water, the agency can provide 1% USDA loans to repair or replace failing water wells. CHRIC was recently was awarded foreclosure counseling funds from the NYS Banking Dept., and the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal in a partnership with Legal Assistance of Western New York. Persons needing housing counseling services should call John Murphy or Mayra Alvarado at 753-4650 for an appointment.