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.

For archived webinars related to Housing Counseling program requirements, visit:

Housing Counseling Webinar Archive

Find by Topic

Best Practices for Service Types

NewManufactured Housing Quick Tips

This resource discusses important elements about manufactured housing to serve as a quick reference for housing counselors on key topics.

Date Published: June 2022

Succession Planning: Instructional Guide and Template

This resource is designed to help inform the development of a succession plan within a HUD-approved housing counseling agency (HCA). A succession plan can be a critical tool in supporting the long-term sustainability of agencies in the event of a leadership transition or another staffing change. This guide includes resources as well as samples and templates for both smaller and larger organizations to use as a starting point to identify succession planning needs.

Date Published: April 2022

Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Toolkit

This toolkit explains the LEP requirements and recommendations for HCAs, including how to understand the needs of LEP persons seeking housing counseling services; how to ensure meaningful access to housing counseling programs and activities by persons with LEP; and how to conduct outreach, educate, and affirmatively market the availability of housing counseling and housing-related services to LEP communities.

Date Published: March 2021

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 Counseling and Eviction Prevention

This online 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.

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 participating 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 participating 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

Fair Housing

NewFair Housing Fact Sheet for Housing Counselors

Fair housing and civil rights laws prohibit discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, including against individuals seeking mortgage or housing assistance, or in other housing related activities. This tool serves as a quick reference on Fair Housing topics for housing counselors.

Date Published: June 2022

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.


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


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