Housing Counseling FAQ

Is “case management” that is commonly conducted to help households find stable housing under ESG, considered “housing counseling” for purposes of this rule?

Date Published: June 2017

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Holistic case management for persons experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness is not housing counseling as defined in the Housing Counseling: New Certification Requirements Final Rule (“Final Rule”). Therefore, if an activity provided under the ESG program is part of holistic case management for persons experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, it is not housing counseling and certification is not required. However, there may be instances where housing counseling, as defined in the Final Rule, is being provided under the ESG program. For example, if a program participant is receiving housing counseling, as defined in the Final Rule, as a separate specialized service, then the housing counseling has to be provided by a HUD certified housing counselor working for an agency approved to participate in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program, as of August 1, 2020, the Final Compliance Date. The Final Rule defines housing counseling as:

“Independent, expert advice customized to the need of the consumer to address the consumers’ housing barriers and achieve their housing goals and must include the following process: intake; financial and housing affordability analysis; an action plan, except for reverse mortgage counseling; and a reasonable effort to have follow-up communication with the client when possible. The content and process of housing counseling must meet the standards outlined in the regulations that govern HUD’s Housing Counseling Program including but not limited to 24 CFR Part 5, 24 CFR Part 214, and HUD Handbook 7610.1REV 5. Homeownership counseling and rental counseling are types of Housing Counseling.”

Tags: Housing Counseling Program Requirements on Other Specific HUD Programs - Emergency Solutions Grants ESG Program Requirements - Eligible Activities/Uses

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