The FHIP includes “fair housing guidance” as an eligible activity. Is this considered housing counseling that is required to be delivered by a HUD certified housing counselor?
Date Published: December 2016
“Fair housing guidance” is defined in the FY 2016 Fair Housing Initiatives Program - Fair Housing Organizations Initiative NOFA as “the process used by fair housing organizations to advise persons about their rights and responsibilities, available options for exercising their rights, and remedies provided under fair housing laws.” If fair housing guidance or advocacy is offered in isolation from housing counseling (i.e., without providing for an intake, financial and housing affordability analysis, an action plan to address other housing needs or goals, and follow up), then it is not considered housing counseling, and is not required to be delivered by a HUD certified housing counselor.
Please note that agencies approved to participate in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program and HUD certified housing counselors may elect to provide fair housing workshops as part of their housing counseling program. In these cases, the fair housing educational workshops must be overseen by a HUD certified housing counselor. However, as noted above, entities that provide fair housing guidance or advocacy to individuals or in a group setting without providing housing counseling, do not have to become approved to participate in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program and do not have to use HUD certified housing counselors.