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White House Salutes Local Housing Counselors

White House, HUD and CESI Solutions Salute Local Housing Counselors as “Champions of Change”

Raleigh, NC – On Thursday, March 1 in Los Angeles, California, the White House and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development honored the eleven housing counselors as Champions of Change for their hard work, perseverance and dedication to their communities.

“Housing counselors work tremendously hard, each and every day, to help families realize the American dream,” said White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. “From helping homeowners avoid foreclosure to making sure tenants understand their rights to working with borrowers to restore their credit, the men and women we honor today truly are Champions of Change.”

The Homeownership Center, a division of the Raleigh, N.C.-based credit counseling agency, Consumer Education Services Inc. (CESI) was proud to join the White House in the salute.

Sheryl Merritt, housing program manager at the Homeownership Center said, “We have served on the front lines of the battle against foreclosure since this housing crisis began, helping thousands of homeowners and tenants stay in their homes and improve their financial health. We are grateful to the armies of talented, caring and knowledgeable counselors, including our very own and those across the country.”

She continued, “Counselors guide renters and potential homeowners in managing their housing choices, provide critical information on rights and responsibilities, the importance of savings, ways to manage credit and debt responsibly, and how to become a good neighbor.”

The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.

Housing counseling assistance was developed over 40 years ago at a time of severe disinvestment in housing, unaffordable interest rates, high unemployment and irresponsible lending practices. Today, HUD approves, monitors and supports counseling organizations and tracks their output. Recent initiatives have extended the number and location of HUD-approved housing counseling organizations and reduced the amount of time and complexity of the process to award HUD housing counseling grants.

To learn more about our Champions and watch video of the event, go to

Filed Under: News and Press

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