Housing Counseling FAQ

Can an agency subcontract out their education/workshop services? Does it matter if an employee is a W-2 employee or a 1099 payee?

Date Published: July 2014

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An agency can enlist the help of an industry expert in providing education. However, a housing counselor has to be primarily responsible and present for the provision of the education services. Further, the Final Rule states that counselors must be HUD certified to provide these services beginning on August 1, 2020.

If an agency provides online education, then the counseling agency must be able to demonstrate that clients learned about and accessed the web-based education through the actions, for example marketing and outreach, of the counseling agency.

Additionally, one of the following bullets must apply:

  • The counseling agency created the web-based education system/program;
  • The counseling agency conducts the education and makes it available via web cast or Skype; or
  • The counseling agency has entered into an agreement with a third party provider of web-based education through which they can provide their clients access to the web-based education.

The housing counseling regulations and handbook do not prohibit hiring counselors via the 1099 process to provide counseling services for participating agencies. As long as the counselor works for the agency, and the agency is required to exercise control/oversight over the counselor’s activities, then the agency is in compliance with HUD. The agency must not hand over entirely all of its housing counseling activities to be provided by another group.

Tags: Housing Counseling Program Counseling Delivery

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