Housing Counseling System

This page contains information on the Housing Counseling System (HCS). Select a topic to find relevant guidance and resources.

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Learn more about how Housing Counseling Agencies can leverage technology in their counseling delivery.

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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.

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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.)


  1. Agencies are required to submit their data electronically into HCS using a HUD authorized Client Management System (CMS) of their choice from the approved list posted in HCS.
  2. Agencies are responsible for ensuring their data is submitted on time, complete, and accurate.
  3. Agencies are required to validate their data at least once every 90 days.
  4. HUD Office of Housing Counseling staff are responsible for ensuring that their assigned agencies comply.
  5. Agencies are categorized on a Risk scale taking into consideration their HCS compliance and other factors.

HCS Data

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.

HCS PII Removal Notification for Housing Counseling Agencies

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:

  • Phase 1: No changes will be required of Client Management System (CMS) vendors to continue to submit data to HCS/ARM. The ARM V5 XML schema will be changed so that all the fields being removed will be optional if they are not already. If a submission contains any of these fields, the fields will be ignored and will not be stored in HCS.
  • Phase 2: CMS vendors will be required to remove these fields from their HUD HCS/ARM submissions. The fields listed will be removed entirely from the ARM V6 XML schema to align with the schedule for the updates CMS will be making to support the new 9902 reporting format for FY 2022. An updated ARM V6 XML schema will be shared with CMS vendors.

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.

Please visit the CMS Requirement Guidance for more information and for a list of HUD-compatible CMS products.

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:

  1. Submit agency profile data. Once successfully submitted, the agency profile data is only required to be submitted when updates to the data are available. Submitting agency data is the step that sets the agency’s CMS designation in HCS. This allows HUD to identify that the agency is in compliance.
  2. Submit counselor profile data. Counselor data must be successfully submitted to HCS prior to submitting Form 9902 and Client data. Once successfully submitted, the Counselor Profile data is only required to be submitted when updates to the data are available.
  3. Submit Form 9902 and Client Profile data quarterly. The Form 9902 and Client Profile submissions should always be submitted by the quarterly reporting due date. HUD will compare the Client data with the Form 9902 report to validate reporting accuracy.
  4. Confirm data successfully submitted. Agencies are required to manually access HCS to confirm the data transmitted is correct and complete. Agencies should mark the validation on the quarterly Form 9902 in HCS to show proof of verification.

System Requirements

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.

Password Resets and Technical Support

Unique Entity Identifier

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 housing.counseling@hud.gov.

Password Resets

For password reset requests, email Housing.Counseling@hud.gov using the subject “HCS Password Reset.” Please also include the following information:

  • Your request for password reset
  • Your name
  • Your Housing Counseling System (HCS) user ID
  • HCS housing counseling agency identification number
  • Your agency’s name

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.

Other Technical Support Requests

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. Help Desk hours are 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM ET.

Tell the Help Desk specialist that you need assistance with application:

HCS (F11) - Housing Counseling System.

Provide the following information:

  • Your name
  • Phone number
  • E-mail address
  • Name of your organization
  • HCS agency ID if applicable
  • Login ID - If you do not have Login ID, or it is not registered with the HUD National Help Desk, they will use "HCS-ARM Customer" as the general contact record
  • Brief description of the issue

Please ensure that the ticket is routed to the "HSGN - HCS - ARM" group.

For additional technical support, view the HCS, CMS, and 9902 Submission Errors Codes. This document should be shared with team members who work in HCS, manage report uploads in CMS, and others who work in 9902 reporting in HCS/CMSs.

Improvement Release

HCS improvement releases summarize the improvements included with each new release of HCS.

  • HCS Improvement Release v. – May 2022: Major changes include:
    • Agency Unique Entity Identifier Added to Replace the Dun & Bradstreet (DUNS) number
    • 9902 Projection Updated to Allow Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Reporting Categories
    • Approval Period of Agencies Using NOFA Performance Period will Not Expire to Conditional
    • Agency Status End Date is Only Editable by a Manager/Supervisor

  • HCS Improvement Release v. – July 2021: Major changes include:
    • Agency Certified Counselor Status – Change Processing of Certified Counselor Indicator
    • User Log-in Changes
    • User Profile – Add Designation of Office Supervisor and OHC Office for HUD Users
    • Automated Status Renewal Based on NOFA Performance Period
    • Allow Agencies to be Unlinked from their Parent Agency for Status Updates

  • HCS Improvement Release v. – September 2020: Major changes include:
    • 404 response after session timed out with two HCS windows open
    • Funding Report filters are misaligned with labels
    • 9902 – Error when saving an update with Data Quality Alerts
    • Agency Review Spreadsheet does not show previous changes to Add New Review Fields

  • HCS Improvement Release v. – September 2020: Major changes include:
    • Legal Notice/Privacy Act screen display upon log in and on 9902
    • Session termination after inactivity
    • 9902 reporting status display on parent agency 9902 and automated emails when agency has not reported
    • Agency certificate for MSO and LHCA type agencies
    • Print function for agency profile
    • Agency Spreadsheet updates to add fields
    • Log in landing page for inactive agencies

  • HCS Improvement Release v. – March 2020: Major changes include:
    • Improved Agency Profile Page – allows for faster response time and ease of modular improvements
    • Validating agency’s address and email
    • Ability to view agency’s profile in multiple FYs
    • New Agency Performance Review Module
    • Updated status 'Reason' selections
    • Consistent sub-agency view from agency’s profile
    • Agency’s profile maintains history of all comments

  • HCS Improvement Release v. - November 2019: Major changes include:
    • Agency status will no longer be automatically downgraded to 'Inactive' or 'Terminated' resulting from system settings
    • Changes to Budget Allocation Screen labels
    • Easing of HUD POC navigation for portfolio items in the HUD Point of Contact dashboard
  • HCS Improvement Release v. - June 2019: Major changes include:
    • Data quality alerts for HUD-9902
    • Grant Information displayed on Agency Profile Page
  • HCS Improvement Release v. - February 2019: Major changes include:
    • A calculated client projection added to the grantee budget allocation page
    • HUD Points of Contact can add multiple service zip codes to an agency profile
    • 9902 reporting status will only be considered late if initial report was submitted after the deadline
  • HCS Improvement Release v. - September 2018: Major changes include:
    • Agency Profile Page updated to require a valid e-mail address under ‘Agency Personnel’
  • HCS Improvement Release v. - June 2018 (Technical updates only; no guide available)
  • HCS Improvement Release v. - May 2018
  • HCS Improvement Release v. - January 2018
  • HCS Improvement Release v. - September 2017
  • HCS Improvement Release v. - March 2017 (Technical updates only; no guide available)
  • HCS Improvement Release v. - March 2017

Disclosure Statement

This disclosure statement outlines HUD’s legal notice for using the Housing Counseling System.

HCS Disclosure Statement