Bryan Cohen Mar. 21, 2013, 4:41pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Legal Newsline) - Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin announced a $150,000 grant Wednesday for the Housing Action Coalition of Rhode Island to support efforts for the prevention of mortgage foreclosures.

The grant is part of the National Mortgage Settlement funding for local efforts to aid homeowners facing potential foreclosure. The Housing Action Coalition of Rhode Island, which was formerly known as the Statewide Housing Action Coalition, is a non-profit advocacy group working to secure, maintain and develop living situations for low-income Rhode Islanders.

The HAC will use the funds received from Kilmartin's office to focus on the state's foreclosure issue through coordinated education and outreach programs. The group will coordinate and lead monthly meetings with other community development organizations, social service agencies, community housing organizations, community action partnerships and Rhode Island Legal Services. The meetings will help the groups collect data on referrals, homeowner outreach and other homeowner services.

The coalition will also create and distribute education materials to stakeholders, policy makers and citizens, in addition to creating and distributing materials to the public. Such materials will include homeowner rights information and resources for which the homeowners may be eligible.

"The housing crisis did not take place overnight, and it will take time for our state to recover," Kilmartin said. "That is little consolation to families who continue to struggle to stay in their homes and those who don't know where to turn for help. The priority of the National Mortgage Settlement grants is connecting those families who are in immediate need to the right resources while also looking ahead to improve and bring stability to the housing market for the long term. This grant to the Housing Action Coalition of Rhode Island will enable the organization to help bring much-needed resources to struggling homeowners."

Kilmartin previously announced a two-year, $1.57 million grant to Rhode Island Legal Services to fund the Foreclosure Prevention Project, a $155,000 grant to Progreso Latino to expand the Better Living Project, a $375,000 grant to the Housing Network of Rhode Island for homeowner counseling and a $60,000 grant to HousingWorks RI to research and report on foreclosures and foreclosure prevention programs over the next three years.

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