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Housing Counseling Program Overview

HUD's Housing Counseling program provides counseling to consumers on seeking, financing, maintaining, renting, or owning a home. The program also addresses homelessness through counseling and assists homeowners in need of foreclosure assistance. Counseling is provided by HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.

This page is designed to provide an overview and applicable resources for housing counselors and other stakeholders looking to improve their understanding of HUD’s Housing Counseling Program. Click on the headings below to view more information on each topic.

Type of Assistance

HUD awards grants to HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agencies and State Housing Finance Agencies through a competitive process.


Applicants for grants from this program must be HUD-approved counseling agencies. HUD publishes its Housing Counseling Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register and on its Funds Available web page. To apply, the agency must use the electronic application system. HUD evaluates applications and issues grant agreements to successful applicants. Applicants may appeal a grant denial or amount to HUD.

Funding Status

HUD pays only part of the costs of an agency's counseling activities, so grantees need to leverage their HUD grant with funding from other resources.

Technical Guidance

This program is authorized by Section 106 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, as amended (12 U.S.C. 1701x). The program is guided by the Housing Counseling Program Handbook (HUD Handbook 7610.1 REV-5). The program is administered by HUD's Office of Housing Counseling - Federal Housing Administration.

Eligible Grantees

Only HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and State Housing Finance Agencies are eligible to apply for Housing Counseling grants. To become HUD-approved, an agency must contact the HUD Office of Housing Counseling to confer about the agency's eligibility and submit an application for approval. Grantees must file quarterly invoices, mid-term performance reports, and a final report. The HUD Office of Housing Counseling reviews the performance of each agency to evaluate whether the agency can keep its HUD approved status.

Eligible Customers

Individuals, families, or groups who are tenants, homeowners, homeless, or homebuyers, may receive counseling from HUD-approved and HUD funded housing counseling agencies.

Eligible Activities

Eligible housing counseling activities can include: rental, default, homeownership, homeless and reverse mortgage counseling for senior homeowners.

Are you interested in learning more about HUD's Housing Counseling Program but aren't sure where to start? Browse the links below to get an overview of the program by topic:

  • Introduction to Housing Counseling: Training modules that provide a quick overview of HUD’s housing counseling program.
  • Agency Approval: Information on how to become a HUD-approved agency and your options for participating in HUD's program.
  • Counselor Certification: Guidance on how to become a HUD Certified Housing Counselor, including information on the exam, FHA Connection, other HUD programs covered by the final rule, success stories, and FAQs.
  • Capacity Building Toolkit: A variety of resources on agency capacity, including expanding services, managing expenditures, developing a work plan, and more.
  • Frequently Asked Questions: Questions on a variety of topics that may be helpful such as financial management and program requirements.

For More Information