This page contains information on the Housing Counseling System (HCS). Select a topic to find relevant guidance and resources.
Note: HCS is a separate website from the HUD Exchange. If you have trouble accessing HCS, follow the instructions on the Technical Support section of this page.
Housing Counseling System (HCS) is a real-time web application that manages the counseling program data. It maintains the list of agencies, collects client data, processes grant applications, and provides performance reports. Click the link above to activate the access login page. (It is recommended that you don't bookmark the HCS log-in page but you should instead bookmark this page in order to access HCS.)
All agencies are required to provide HUD access to housing counseling data to allow monitoring of their Housing Counseling program. This data will be submitted by the agency into the Housing Counseling System (HCS). Due to the amount of data, each agency must incorporate in their housing counseling process a Counseling Application to collect data and electronically transmit the data into HCS. A list of required data agencies are responsible to provide to HCS is available in the Resources section as CMS Submission Data Requirements. All agencies are required to access HCS to verify that the data submitted is complete and accurate. To ensure data is correct, all agencies must validate their HCS profile a minimum of once every 90 days signifying that they acknowledge the information posted is to their satisfaction.
In accordance with Federal requirements and recommended best practices for managing Personal Identifiable Information (PII), HUD regularly reviews the data it collects and stores. Learn more about how HUD protects PII.
HUD has reviewed the Housing Counseling System (HCS). As a result of this review, HUD has determined that some PII data fields are unnecessary and will no longer be collected and stored. HUD will modify the HCS system to no longer collect unneeded PII.
The full removal of unneeded PII is a two phase process:
HUD is working with CMS vendors to ensure that these modifications do not impede the functionality of HCS and CMS systems.
As of fiscal year 2008, all agencies are required to utilize an automated counseling application of their choice. The application is generally referred to as the “Client Management System (CMS)”. The purpose of the CMS is to automate counseling services, store client data, and interface with the HCS Agency Reporting Module to submit required data to HUD. A HUD-approved CMS can submit agency data in XML format directly from the agencies’ internal systems to HCS. Agencies can develop or select any CMS of choice so long as the CMS is approved by HUD.
When submitting data from a CMS to HCS, agencies must follow a specific procedure to ensure their data submissions are transmitted successfully. CMS have been instructed to allow transmitting data in four (4) separate sets to allow flexibility and reliability in the submission of data. The data sets agencies can send to HCS are: Agency Profile, Counselor Profile, HUD-9902 Performance Reports (Form 9902), and Client Profile. Agencies must submit the data sets in the following order:
HUD recommends using Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 10 to access HCS. Minor loss of functionality may occur while HCS is accessed via different browsers and operation systems.
Agencies submit their quarterly performance reports on a HUD-9902 form. Please visit the CMS Requirement Guidance page for information on the submission requirements related to the form.
Grant awardees must also enter their HUD Client Projections in HCS. Refer to the 9902 Projection Training Guide for instructions on how to complete projections.
The Launchpad CMS will stop providing support and maintenance after November 1, 2021. Launchpad has not and will not modify its database to support the new 9902 report. Therefore, all agencies will stop using and entering data in Launchpad on October 1, 2021. Agencies can use Launchpad to complete inputting their client data for FY 2021 and have until the end of October 2021 to submit their 4th Quarter FY 2021 9902 report and client data to HUD. Launchpad users do not have until the end of December 2021 to submit their final 4th Quarter FY 2021 data like normal. All agencies still using Launchpad must select an alternative CMS and have it in place no later than October 1, 2021 to start collecting required data for FY 2022.
As of April 4, 2022, the federal government stopped using the Dun & Bradstreet data universal numbering system (DUNS) number to uniquely identify entities. Now, entities doing business with the federal government use the Unique Entity identifier (UEI) created in Sam.gov. All housing counseling agencies (HCAs) should log into HCS and add the UEI number to their HCS profile as soon as possible to avoid potential issues with grant applications and federal funding. For more information, visit the UEI Update page.
For any questions, please contact your HUD Point of Contact (POC) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For password reset requests, email Housing.Counseling@hud.gov using the subject “HCS Password Reset.” Please also include the following information:
The FHA Resource Center will reset your password so you can access the HCS application. You will receive an encrypted email from the FHA Resource Center with a temporary password within 1-3 business days with a temporary password. If you do not receive the encrypted email with your temporary password in you inbox, check your email system spam, clutter, or junk folders. Wait at least 30 minutes before accessing the system to change your password. If you have any questions, please contact the FHA Resource Center by calling: (800) 225-5342 or email: Housing.Counseling@hud.gov.
Please report all technical issues or system errors to the HUD National Help Desk at (888) 297-8689 or (202) 708-3300 and choose option 9.
Tell the Help Desk specialist that you need assistance with application:
HCS (F11) - Housing Counseling System.
Provide the following information:
Please ensure that the ticket is routed to the "HSGN - HCS - ARM" group.
Help Desk hours are 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.
HCS improvement releases summarize the improvements included with each new release of HCS.