HUD published the Final Rule for Housing Counseling Certification in the Federal Register on December 14, 2016. This rule implements statutory requirements that housing counseling required under or provided in connection with all HUD programs will be provided by HUD Certified Housing Counselors. With the new certification requirements, the benefits to the renter, the prospective homebuyer, or the existing homeowner are increased assurance of a more knowledgeable housing counselor providing more effective housing counseling services. HUD expects that more knowledgeable housing counselors will lead to better identification of housing issues, more knowledgeable referrals and resolution of barriers, and a greater ability to avoid scams. The rule provides guidance for agencies who are required to have housing counseling certified staff as well as new regulations prohibiting the distribution of HUD Housing Counseling Program grant funds to agencies convicted of election law violations or misusing those funds in a manner that constitutes a material violation of HUD requirements. Some of the requirements are in effect 30 days after the rule publication. Counselors have up to 36 months after the date that the HUD housing counselor certification examination becomes available, which will be published in a separate Federal Register Notice to comply with the Certification requirement.
The following includes the key provisions of the Final Rule and the timing associated each provision:
View resources related to the Final Rule on the right side of this page. Additionally, in the coming weeks and months, HUD will continue to provide guidance and additional resources to Housing Counseling program current and future participants on specific aspects of the new requirements. The additional resources include: notification of the final examination availability through publication of a separate Federal Register notice, webinars, self-paced online training, tools, outreach materials etc. Please sign up for the Housing Counseling Mailing List to be notified when each resource becomes available.
This website is specifically designed for HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, offering free on-line training covering a broad range of topics including responsibilities of homeownership and tenancy; avoiding foreclosure and eviction; financial management; and fair housing. The training is designed to help prepare housing counselors for the upcoming, mandatory HUD certified counselor examination.
If you have questions that are not addressed in our FAQs and need further information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Please put in the Subject line “Housing Counseling Certification Rule” and, if applicable, the name of the HUD program you are inquiring about (e.g., Subject: Housing Counseling Certification Rule – ROSS).
The following are links to additional information about the Housing Counseling: New Certification Requirements Final Rule:
View the frequently asked questions as a one stop shop for all your inquiries regarding the final rule. Search for the FAQs by topic:
Additional Final Rule trainings are available in the Webinar Archive.