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 certified housing counselors who are employed by HUD-approved housing counseling agencies (HCAs).
This page is designed to provide an overview and applicable resources for housing counselors, their agency managers and leadership as well as 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.
While the program has been around for over 50 years, through the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) was established as a direct line to the Secretary of HUD. In addition to its oversight and grant administration responsibilities, OHC convenes thought leaders to share best practices, spreads the word about the benefits of housing counseling, and collaborates with other Federal offices to connect housing counseling to the work of HUD.
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 Grants.gov electronic application system. HUD evaluates applications and issues grant agreements to successful applicants. Applicants may appeal a grant denial or amount to HUD.
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.
Program Regulations: 24 CFR Part 214 implements the Housing Counseling Program 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.
Only HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and participating 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.
Individuals, families, or groups who are tenants, homeowners, homeless, or homebuyers, may receive counseling from HUD-approved and HUD funded housing counseling agencies.
Eligible housing counseling activities can include homeless, rental, pre-purchase homeownership, post-purchase homeownership, including default, disaster and reverse mortgage counseling for seniors.
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: