Let's Make Home Happen

December 2017, Volume 6 Issue 6

Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee

A major accomplishment for the Office of Housing Counseling (OHC) in FY2017 was convening the Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee (HCFAC). HCFAC was established to advise OHC to meet its mission to provide individuals and families with the knowledge they need to obtain, sustain, and improve their housing through a strong national network of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and HUD certified counselors.

The HCFAC consists of 12 individuals, equally representing the mortgage and real estate industry, consumers, and HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.

During FY 2017, the committee met three times. The first meeting, held on November 1, 2016, introduced the 12 appointed members and featured discussions on: issues facing the housing counseling industry; increasing consumer awareness of housing counseling; and, achieving greater financial sustainability for housing counseling services.

The second meeting occurred via teleconference on February 8, 2017 and included a presentation on OHC’s efforts to increase the visibility and awareness of HUD’s Housing Counseling Program. Creative Marketing Resources (CMR), a HUD contractor for this project, shared insights from their consumer and industry focus groups.

Mother Nature interfered with the next scheduled meeting in March 2017, when a severe snow storm struck the Washington, D.C. area. Upon reconvening in May 2017, discussions on visibility continued and included how to integrate housing counseling in the lending process.

Overall, the HCFAC is composed of talented, committed, and creative individuals — everything OHC hoped for in an advisory committee. Moving forward, HCFAC is focusing on integrating housing counseling into the mortgage process (pre-purchase, post-purchase, reverse and default) and increasing awareness, visibility, and quality of housing counseling. OHC is preparing a report on their first-year activities and firming up the meeting schedule for 2018.

Federal Register announcements and meeting minutes for each of the three meetings for FY17 can be found on the HUD Exchange at HCFAC.

man and woman looking over mortgage transactions