The Ohio State University - Ofc of Sponsored Programs
Commission AmeriCorps State Competitive Planning Grants FY 2011
The U.S. Treasury Department has identified Ohio as one of the hardest hit states in the country for mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures, placing a large number of homeowners at risk of losing their home. While foreclosure is a problem statewide, the fastest growth in foreclosure rates is found in Ohio's rural areas. This past summer, Ohio State University (OSU) Extension was approved to provide housing counseling services by the U.S. Department of Urban and Rural Development. OSU Extension is committed to maintaining a local, county-based presence across the state and our explicit goal is to service rural Ohioans who struggle to obtain or to maintain safe and affordable housing. Our objective for this grant application is to provide housing counseling and financial planning designed to improve the long-term security of economically vulnerable homeowners and new homebuyers in rural Ohio. The proposed project directly addresses "Opportunity," one of the Corporation's Focus Areas, "to assist individuals and families that are at the risk of homelessness; [and to] provide financial literacy training and tools designed to improve financial security." This planning grant will allow us to augment our community education and engagement efforts to facilitate access to safe and affordable housing for low-income rural populations and to provide additional support to vulnerable homeowners in rural Ohio. Planning for the recruitment, training, placement, on-going mentoring and supervision of AmeriCorps members will allow us to provide new levels of previously unavailable services and reach new and underserved audiences.