What are some Key Provisions of the Final Rule?
Date Published: December 2016
Housing counseling required under or provided in connection with any HUD programs must be provided only by certified housing counselors certified by HUD and who work for organizations approved to participate in HUD's Housing Counseling Program. In order to be certified, an individual must both pass a standardized written examination covering six major topic areas, and work for an agency approved to participate in HUD's Housing Counseling Program.
Requirement for Agencies that Provide Homeownership Counseling:
All agencies approved to participate in HUD's Housing Counseling Program that provide "Homeownership Counseling" shall address the entire process of homeownership as provided in the Final Rule.
Requirement Related to Distribution of Home Inspection Materials:
As part of the Homeownership Counseling process, Participating Agencies shall provide clients with such materials as HUD may require regarding the availability and importance of obtaining an independent home inspection.
Agencies Found to Have Misused Housing Counseling Program Grant Funds:
This Final Rule requires a Participating Agency that has been found to have misused Housing Counseling Program grant funds in a way that constitutes a material violation to reimburse HUD for such misused amounts, return any unused or unobligated grant funds, and will be prohibited from receiving Housing Counseling Program grant funds in the future.
Prohibition Against Distribution of Funds to Organizations Convicted of Violating Election Laws:
The Final Rule prohibits the distribution of Comprehensive Housing Counseling or Housing Counseling Training grant funds to any organization that has been convicted of a violation under Federal law relating to an election for Federal office, or any organization that employs an individual who has been convicted for a violation under Federal law relating to an election of a Federal office.