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.
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 requiring assistance with their Agency ID and password for logging into HCS should contact their HUD point of contact.
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 HCO CMS is official closed as of December 2, 2019. The HCO system is no longer supported nor operational. It is crucial that any Agency still using HCO must select another CMS immediately.
Please report all technical issues or problems to your designated HUD contact first. If your HUD contact is unable to provide assistance, report technical issue or system error 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.