Housing Counseling Program Guidance

This page contains guidance and tools to assist agencies comply with HUD’s Housing Counseling program. These documents provide both requirements for the program as well as best practices.

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Best Practices for Service Types

Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy

This collection of resources assists housing counselors in helping their clients make informed decisions about housing lending products, understand their rights, and locate resources if they fall victim of fraud schemes. It also covers consumer protection and free financial education resources that counselors can provide to their clients.

Rental Housing Toolkit for Housing Counselors

This toolkit provides information to housing counselors to help clients find rental assistance, understand Fair Housing laws, become familiar with tenant-landlord relationships and responsibilities of each, and provide appropriate information on general housing issues.

Date Published: November 2018

Healthy Housing Toolkit for Housing Counselors

While healthy housing is not a required topic for housing counseling or for group education, it can be easily integrated into those settings. This toolkit includes information and checklists for educating clients—homeowners, homebuyers, and renters—about the rules that protect them and the recommended actions they can take to maintain healthy homes.

Date Published: February 2018

Establishing a Non-Profit Entity: A Step-By-Step Guide for Organizations Launching a Local Housing Counseling Agency

This manual outlines the path to becoming a HUD-approved nonprofit LHCA. This toolkit prepares HCAs for the complexities and variables which affect the successful achievement of each part of the process.

Date Published: August 2012

Best Practices for Expanding Housing Counseling Services

This best practices guide is designed to assist HUD-approved HCAs with expanding housing counseling services, particularly to reach rural and underserved communities. The guide also offers detailed strategies for expanding rental, homeless, and HECM counseling programs.

Date Published: July 2012

Work Plans

Housing Counseling Program Agency Work Plans Online Training

This self-paced online training highlights case studies and best practices and includes two parts:

Date Published: April 2020

Developing an Agency Work Plan for HUD Approval Toolkit

This toolkit provides useful information, tools, and strategies for prospective and currently participating HCAs with guidance on developing or modifying their agency work plans. The toolkit includes a sample work plan.

Date Published: February 2020

Intermediary Oversight of Networks

This collection of toolkits is for HUD-Approved Intermediaries, State Housing Finance Agencies, and Multi-State Organizations.

Reporting

This toolkit describes HUD reporting requirements associated with the Housing Counseling Program, outlines the reporting expectations and requirements for network affiliates, and helps intermediaries establish internal procedures to ensure compliance with reporting content and deadlines.

Date Published: March 2018

Orientation

This toolkit describes the purpose and goals of HUD’s Housing Counseling Program, the most important resources and information needed to operate successfully, the full range of responsibilities of an Intermediary, and best practices for effective management of a network.

Date Published: March 2018

HUD Eligibility Criteria

This toolkit outlines the standard processes for bringing new HCAs into an Intermediary network and assessing current affiliates, the criteria to approve HCAs for their network, and how to assess the capacity, appropriateness, and need for a potential HCA in the network.

Date Published: March 2018

Quality Control

This toolkit provides Intermediaries with information to execute a rigorous QC process, create and implement a client satisfaction survey to ensure that clients receive quality services, and use the data to analyze and improve procedures.

Date Published: March 2018