I have an active Real Estate license. Can I also take the Housing Counselor Certification exam, and provide housing counseling?
Date Published: January 2018
The Housing Counseling Certification Final Rule does not prohibit real estate agents from taking the HUD Certification examination, working for a participating agency and becoming a certified housing counselor (upon passing the exam) and holding a real estate license. However, to be considered a HUD Certified Housing Counselor, one must pass the HUD certification exam and work for a participating agency (i.e., a housing counseling and intermediary organization approved to participate in HUD's Housing Counseling program).
A participating agency that employs this individual would have to ensure that in the performance of their housing counseling duties, they do not violate the Conflict of Interest provisions located in the Housing Counseling Program Regulations (24 CFR Part 214). Included in those provisions are the following prohibitions:
In addition, the participating agency must adhere to the disclosure requirement which specifically states that “A participating agency must provide to all clients a disclosure statement that explicitly describes the various types of services provided by the agency and any financial relationships between this agency and any other industry partners. The disclosure must clearly state that the client is not obligated to receive any other services offered by the organization or its exclusive partners. Furthermore, the agency must provide information on alternative services, programs, and products.” [See §214.303 (g)]