Housing Counseling FAQ

What can an agency expect during a performance review? What can an agency do to make sure monitors are able to find what they are looking for?

Date Published: November 2017

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A review is usually an on-site monitoring visit. Prior to the visit, HUD staff will review the agency's most current housing counseling work plan and the agency's most recent form HUD-9902 form. During the visit, typically HUD staff will sample 10-20 client and 2 group education files using a checklist of items required by HUD Handbook 7610.1. HUD staff will review the participating agency’s compliance with the following:

  • Grant Management
  • Maintaining Approval Criteria
  • Reporting to HUD
  • Client and Group Education Files
  • Facilities and Accessibility
  • Delivery of Housing Counseling Services
  • Recordkeeping Systems
  • Fees for Housing Counseling and other Services
  • Financial and Audit Capacity
  • Performance Criteria
  • Work Plan compliance with homeownership counseling and home inspection material requirements

An agency can help monitors by having its most current housing counseling work plan on file, as well as assuring that the most recent version is sent directly to their Point of Contact (POC). This plan is an outline of the agency's housing counseling services and describes in detail how these services are delivered. A quality housing counseling work plan explains the needs and problems of the target population, how the agency will address one or more of these needs and problems with its available resources, the type of housing counseling services offered, how the entire homeownership process, including home inspection materials will be addressed, the fee structure if applicable, and specifies the geographic service area served. HUD staff will review this plan prior to an on-site visit. View the Housing Counseling Capacity Building Toolkit for sample work plans.

When the monitor arrives, have a designated, confidential workplace available and have all requested information and files ready in the designated area. a centralized place. For client and group education files in an electronic format, HUD staff will need access to paper copies. Also provide the monitor access to a copy machine. Agency and HUD staff should redact any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) from all files that are copied, or otherwise removed from an agency’s offices.

Tags: Housing Counseling Program Recordkeeping

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