The 2013 HOME Final Rule imposes a requirement that any homebuyer that receives HOME downpayment assistance or buys a HOME-assisted unit must have housing counseling. What type of homebuyer counseling does the HOME program require?

Date Published: November 2013

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Effective August 23, 2013, any homebuyer that enters into a written agreement for HOME assistance (e.g., downpayment or closing cost assistance) or enters into a sales contract for the purchase of a HOME-assisted unit must receive housing counseling. See §92.254(a)(3).

While the HOME regulation does not specify the type or duration of counseling that the homebuyer must receive, HUD recommends that participating jurisdictions (PJs) review and adopt the benchmarks for counseling established by the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling.

When implementing this requirement, PJs should consider:

  • Duration of the housing counseling (minimum number of hours)
  • Educational content of the counseling (pre or post purchase, credit counseling, introduction to homeownership, how to maintain a house, etc.)
  • Form of counseling (one-on-one, small group, classroom setting)
  • Who will provide the counseling (PJ staff, subrecipient, contractor, developer)
  • How the PJ will ensure the counselors are qualified

Tags: HOME Homebuyer Assistance - Administration

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