A $1.3 million grant for the state's Mortgage Crisis Job Training Program is expected to gain approval when the State Bond Commission meets later this week, said Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), Senate chairman of the General Assembly's Banks Committee.

The unique program is a free service for Connecticut homeowners who are facing or already in foreclosure. The program offers customized employment services, job retraining, job placement assistance, financial literacy, credit counseling and referrals to other support services.

"This is welcome funding for a program that has demonstrated results for homeowners facing foreclosure in our state," Duff said. He was a key proponent for creation of the program in 2008. "This program offers a hand up to people facing tough times and gets at the heart of a significant cause of home foreclosure: unemployment and under-employment. I want to thank Governor Rell for her cooperation and for seeing the value in this first-in-the nation program."

"The Mortgage Crisis Job Training Program is the only program in the nation that invests in training people to help them stay in their homes," said Joe Carbone, president and CEO of The Workplace, Inc., which runs the Mortgage Crisis Job Training Program. "The release of the funds will help the program reach out to and service more people within the state, providing training scholarships for those facing foreclosure."

To be eligible for assistance through the program, homeowners must:

"¢ Be 60 days or more past-due on their mortgage

"¢ Have their mortgage on their primary residence in Connecticut

"¢ Have a household income of less than $120,000

"¢ Be referred by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority or demonstrate an imminent need for services.

For more information on the Mortgage Crisis Job Training Program, visit www.workplace.org

The State Bond Commission is scheduled to meet Friday, Dec. 10, at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.