COVID-19 Emergency Information for Housing Counselors

This page is a summary of key resources for HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.

COVID-19 Program Updates and Waivers

Partial Waiver of 24 CFR § 214.300(a)(3) In-Person Service Housing Counseling Requirement

On April 20, 2020, Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner Brian Montgomery signed a one year waiver stating that all agencies participating in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program may provide housing counseling in the office of the housing counseling agency, at an alternate location, or by telephone, as long as mutually acceptable to the housing counselor and client.

Extension to FY 2019 Comprehensive Housing Counseling Grant Performance Period

In response to the challenges housing counseling agencies are facing as a result of the COVID-19 National Emergency, HUD's Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) implemented an automatic extension of the performance period for all fiscal year (FY) 2019 Comprehensive Housing Counseling (CHC) grants to the maximum allowable timeframe. Agencies operating under the FY 2019 CHC grant requirements are not required to submit requests to obtain the extension. This extension supersedes all extensions for the FY 2019 grants previously approved by OHC. The new period of performance end date will be March 31, 2021.

Submission Deadline Change: Submit FY 2020 Q2 Form HUD-9902 Data by June 30, 2020

In response to COVID-19 National Emergency, OHC has extended the FY 2020 Quarter 2 Form HUD-9902 submission deadline from April 30, 2020 to June 30, 2020. At this time, there are no changes to the FY 2020 Quarters 3 and 4 reporting deadlines.

COVID-19 Resources

The following COVID-19 resources have been released by HUD and other federal agencies and cover consumer protection information, HUD guidance, and other options that may be helpful for housing counselors to understand and share with their clients.

NewCOVID-19 Frauds and Scams: Guide for Housing Counselors

Due to the COVID-19 national emergency, as well as other disasters and emergencies, scams and frauds are surfacing that target individuals in vulnerable situations. This guide will assist housing counselors in helping their clients cautiously navigate suspicious circumstances. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

Find HUD and FHA resources and guidance related to COVID-19 for program participants across HUD programs, as well as homeowners and renters.

HUD FHA Waiver Suspending Face-to-Face Meeting Requirements with Default Mortgage Borrowers

This partial waiver of 24 CFR §203.604 Servicing Responsibilities is to limit face-to-face contact due to public health concerns around the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Please note that this guidance is relevant to loan servicing and is not an Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) requirement.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) COVID-19: Halting Foreclosure through May 17, 2020

This announcement informs lenders of a foreclosure and eviction moratorium for all USDA Single-Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) loans for a period of 60 days, in connection with the Presidentially declared COVID-19 National Emergency.

HUD Statement on Fair Housing and COVID-19

This statement from HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity (FHEO) provides information to housing providers and the public at large about the federal fair housing laws that protect persons from discrimination.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): Mortgage and Housing Assistance

The CFPB, HUD, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) are working together to help homeowners and renters during the coronavirus pandemic. The new Mortgage and Housing Assistance website provides the latest information on how to get help with housing to share with your clients during the coronavirus emergency.

Fannie Mae Assistance Options for Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19

Fannie Mae shares information with those impacted by COVID-19 of available mortgage assistance and relief options.

Freddie Mac COVID-19 Response

Freddie Mac staff is working to ensure that its employees, customers, and borrowers are protected from the direct and indirect impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19). Read Freddie Mac's #HelpStartsHere Interactive Guide for Homeowners that provides information and resources on how mortgage servicers can help clients that have experienced job loss, reduced income, illness or other issues related to COVID-19 that impacts their ability to make their monthly mortgage payments; understanding forbearance and if it’s the right option; and avoiding scams such as “foreclosure rescue fraud.”

Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Coronavirus Resources

The FTC is protecting consumers, providing guidance to businesses, and protecting competition in the marketplace throughout the pandemic. Helpful resources include:

Pandemic Planning: Joint Statement from the Federal Reserve System, FDIC, and OCC on CRA Consideration for Activities in Response to COVID-19

This joint statement from the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) encourages financial institutions to work with customers and communities affected by COVID-19, particularly those that are low- and moderate-income. Financial institutions will receive Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) consideration for qualifying community development activities.

Small Business Administration (SBA): Coronavirus (COVID-19) Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

The SBA is providing assistance to small businesses through a number of resources, including Coronavirus Funding Options:

  • Paycheck Protection Program - This loan program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan - This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loan - Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
  • SBA Debt Relief - The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Department of the Treasury: Assistance for Small Businesses

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) COVID-19 Information

The OCC is working cooperatively with all state and federal banking agencies and other organizations to regulated institutions and their customers in managing the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Helpful resources include:

Faith and Opportunity Initiatives Office: CARES Act Programs for Faith-Based & Non-Profit Organizations

This document from the Faith and Opportunity Initiatives Office highlights resources for faith-based and community organizations registered/recognized as 501(c)(3) non-profits from the CARES Act.

Sharing Housing Counseling Agency COVID-19 Best Practices

Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Outreach Flyer: Housing Counseling Agencies COVID-19 Response

This marketing flyer highlights MSHDA’s housing counseling capabilities during COVID-19, including financial assessment and planning; assistance for homeowners, renters, and the homeless; and a list of all services provided. Other agencies may be interested in developing similar flyers summarizing their capabilities in order to conduct outreach during the COVID-19 national emergency.

Virginia Housing: COVID-19 Emergency Funding Support Program

Virginia Housing is committed to strengthening and sustaining Virginia’s housing services delivery network. In response to the COVID-19 national emergency, Virginia Housing supports the efforts of six critical housing networks: HUD Housing Counseling, Virginia Habitat for Humanity Affiliates, Virginia Housing’s Housing Choice Voucher Network, Virginia Housing’s Accessibility Network, Virginia’s Public Housing and Redevelopment Authorities, and Virginia’s Non-Profit Housing Developers with a lending relationship with Virginia Housing.

COVID-19 Declarations

President Donald J. Trump Directs FEMA Support Under Emergency Declaration for COVID-19

On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a nationwide emergency pursuant to Sec. 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the “Stafford Act”). This increases federal support to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in its role as the lead federal agency for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response. As a result of the President’s decisive, unprecedented action, FEMA is directed to assist state, local, tribal, territorial governments and other eligible entities with the health and safety actions they take on behalf of the American public.

FEMA State Disaster Declarations

For a complete list of COVID-19 Disaster Declarations, visit the FEMA COVID-19 Disaster Declarations webpage.

Disaster Declaration Date
Seminole Tribe of Florida (DR-4545) May 8, 2020
Wyoming (DR-4535) April 11, 2020
Idaho (DR-4534) April 9, 2020
Alaska (DR-4533) April 9, 2020
Vermont (DR-4532) April 8, 2020
Minnesota (DR-4531) April 7, 2020
Oklahoma (DR-4530) April 5, 2020
New Mexico (DR-4529) April 5, 2020
Mississippi (DR-4528) April 5, 2020
South Dakota (DR-4527) April 5, 2020
Delaware (DR-4526) April 5, 2020
Utah (DR-4525) April 4, 2020
Arizona (DR-4524) April 4, 2020
Nevada (DR-4523) April 4, 2020
Maine (DR-4522) April 4, 2020
Nebraska (DR-4521) April 4, 2020
Wisconsin (DR-4520) April 4, 2020
Arkansas (DR-4518) April 3, 2020
West Virginia (DR-4517) April 3, 2020
New Hampshire (DR-4516) April 3, 2020
Indiana (DR-4515) April 3, 2020
Tennessee (DR-4514) April 2, 2020
Virgin Islands (DR-4513) April 2, 2020
Virginia (DR-4512) April 2, 2020
Northern Mariana (DR-4511) April 1, 2020
Hawaii (DR-4510) April 1, 2020
North Dakota (DR-4509) April 1, 2020
Montana (DR-4508) March 31, 2020
Ohio (DR-4507) March 31, 2020
Pennsylvania (DR-4506) March 30, 2020
Rhode Island (DR-4505) March 30, 2020
Kansas (DR-4504) March 29, 2020
Alabama (DR-4503) March 29, 2020
District of Columbia (DC) (DR-4502) March 29, 2020
Georgia (DR-4501) March 29, 2020
Connecticut (DR-4500) March 28, 2020
Oregon (DR-4499) March 28, 2020
Colorado (DR-4498) March 28, 2020
Kentucky (DR-4497) March 28, 2020
Massachusetts (DR-4496) March 27, 2020
Guam (DR-4495) March 27, 2020
Michigan (DR-4494) March 27, 2020
Puerto Rico (DR-4493) March 27, 2020
South Carolina (DR-4492) March 27, 2020
Maryland (DR-4491) March 26, 2020
Missouri (DR-4490) March 26, 2020
Illinois (DR-4489) March 26, 2020
New Jersey (DR-4488) March 25, 2020
North Carolina (DR-4487) March 25, 2020
Florida (DR-4486) March 25, 2020
Texas (DR-4485) March 25, 2020
Louisiana (DR-4484) March 24, 2020
Iowa (DR-4483) March 23, 2020
California (DR-4482) March 22, 2020
Washington (DR-4481) March 22, 2020
New York (DR-4480) March 20, 2020

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Housing Counselors

COVID-19 FAQs for Housing Counselors

These FAQs provide guidance for housing counselors on Housing Counseling Program guidance during COVID-19. Topics covered include remote counseling, temporary suspension of activities, eligible costs, and more.