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HUD Housing Counselor Certification Highlights

September 27, 2019 Print ShareThis

The HUD housing counselor certification deadline is August 1, 2020. Don’t delay, certify today!

HUD published the Housing Counseling New Certification Requirements Final Rule on December 14, 2016. The final rule implements statutory requirements that take effect August 1, 2020. As of that date, all housing counselors must be HUD certified in order to provide housing counseling for a HUD participating agency. Only those staff who have achieved the professional milestone of HUD certified housing counselor will be able to provide housing counseling or oversee group education sessions. Website Updates

Effective September 27, 2019, the HUD Housing Counselor Certification website,, will provide updated training materials. The training materials, including the interactive online modules, downloadable Study Guide (both English and Spanish versions), and practice examination, will be updated and republished (Version 201909).

Content changes in the release will include:

  • Revisions to the description of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
  • Clarifications about fair housing exemptions including content related to the number of rental units owned by a landlord
  • Revisions to Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) content including clarifications relating to the Analysis of Impediments
  • Clarifications relating to cash-out refinancing and the definition of “delinquent”
  • Addition of information regarding the HUD Rental Housing Toolkit

Other minor content clarifications and enhancements, including link updates, will be applied throughout the training material. Housing Counselors are encouraged to review updated training materials in preparation for certification. If you have downloaded the previous study guide, HUD recommends you delete that version and save this new version. HUD also recommends you note your online module completion status, which is accessible in your website profile, as modules will be replaced and module status reset. The portal provides a full revision history of training materials, detailing changes to specific modules, and modules are dated to ensure users are accessing the most recent version.

Tracking Housing Counselor Certification Program Progress

Did you know that HUD’s Office of Housing Counseling has a dedicated certification progress tracking page that shows progress in HUD’s housing counselor certification program?

The page features a graphic showing the percentage of housing counseling agencies with at least one certified housing counselor. Each month, there are highlights provided on the top 10 states with certified housing counselors and other facts and resources. For example, which state just got its first HUD certified housing counselor in June 2019? Visit Tracking Progress to find out.

Housing Counselor Certification Success Stories and Best Practices

Are you trying to find fresh and engaging ideas to add to your housing counselor certification toolbox? The HUD Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) has a new HUD Exchange webpage on Housing Counselor Certification Success Stories and Best Practices including:

  • A sample HUD certification timeline
  • Video presentations
  • Amazing success stories
  • Best practices from the housing counseling industry

Do you have your own certification tools or want to share your success story? Email to share.

Housing Counselor Certification Resources

If you agency participating in the HUD Housing Counseling Program does not have a HUD certified housing counselor, do you have a plan for meeting the final rule by August 1, 2020?

  • If you are an agency executive, are you aware of your counseling staff’s engagement in the certification process?
  • Have you championed the need for your counselors to become certified and spoken of the value HUD Housing Counselor certification brings to the agency?
  • Are you aware of the commitment and time required for counselors to study, attend trainings, take and pass the exam and complete the necessary steps in FHA Connection (FHAC)?

Check out these resources available to provide information on the certification process:

Certification FAQs

For answers to common questions about housing counselor certification, please review the FAQ page on the HUD Exchange. There are FAQs on a wide variety of questions, including this one below:

Question: Can an agency approved to participate in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program offer housing counseling if it no longer has a HUD certified counselor as of the Final Compliance Date?

Answer: Prior to August 1, 2020, the Final Compliance Date, counselor certification is not a requirement, and an agency covered by the rule can continue to offer housing counseling regardless of whether they have a HUD certified counselor working for them. However, as of August 1, 2020, the Final Compliance Date, all Housing Counseling must be performed by HUD certified counselors, and any agency without at least one certified counselor will no longer be able to perform housing counseling.

Learn more about housing counselor certification by visiting the HUD Exchange Certification page. If you have any questions, please contact your HUD Point of Contact or email:

Tags: Housing Counseling Program