Let's Make Home Happen

May 2018, Volume 6 Issue 11

Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee

The Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee is mandated by Congress to advise HUD about its housing counseling program. HUD established the Committee in 2015 and the first meeting was held in November 2016. The Committee’s 12 seats are equally split between representatives of the real estate industry, mortgage industry, housing counseling agencies, and consumers. Members were initially appointed for one-, two-, and- three-year terms so that when the Committee is fully operational, four members will finish their terms and four new members will begin.

In Fiscal Year 2016, HUD selected the initial 12 members from 215 applications. The founding members brought diverse experiences and views to their work and have fulfilled their responsibilities with energy and commitment. The work of the Committee provides insight into the on-the-ground points of view of real estate and mortgage professionals, housing counseling agencies, and consumers that aren’t necessarily visible or otherwise accessible to HUD staff. The Committee allows HUD to gather pertinent information from stakeholders that can be used to improve the housing counseling program. The Committee has been diligent in learning about the advantages and challenges of HUD’s housing counseling program. Past meetings explored the state of research, the need to connect consumers to housing counseling, and the challenge of integrating housing counseling into all aspects of the homeownership process, including purchase, foreclosure prevention, and reverse mortgages.

The Committee met on March 1, 2018 for the purpose of deliberating and making recommendations to HUD based on its work to date. It invited founding members to share their insights and recognized their contributions along with those of HUD’s Designated Federal Officer for the Committee, Marjorie George, who retired at the end of 2017.

The Committee made more than a dozen recommendations to HUD which fell into several categories:

  • Integrate housing counseling into the mortgage process
  • Increase the financial sustainability of housing counseling
  • Increase consumer and stakeholder awareness of housing counseling
  • Improve housing counseling program impact
  • Recommendations concerning committee operations

HUD plans to respond to these recommendations at the next committee meeting. Information about the Committee, along with minutes and records of its meetings, is available on the Housing Counseling Federal Advisory Committee page.

As of the end of May 2018, there will be eight vacancies on the Committee. HUD solicited membership applications to fill these vacancies with a Federal Register Notice published on April 9, 2018. Applications were due by May 9, 2018. HUD has begun the selection process for the eight new members.

Thank You!

The Office of Housing Counseling would like to give special thanks to HUD’s former Designated Federal Officer for the Committee, Marjorie George, who retired at the end of 2017, as well as the Committee’s four founding members:

  • Linda Ayers
  • Alejandro Becerra
  • Ellie Pepper
  • Terri Redmond

Pictured from L to R: E.J. Thomas, HCFAC Chair; Marjorie George, HCFAC Designated Federal Officer (Retired); and Sarah Gerecke, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Housing Counseling

Pictured from left to right: E.J. Thomas, HCFAC Chair; Marjorie George, HCFAC Designated Federal Officer (Retired); and Sarah Gerecke, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Housing Counseling

Current Committee Members:

  • Afreen Alam
  • Meg Burns
  • Jose Larry Garcia
  • Cassie Hicks
  • Judy Hunter
  • Pamela Marron
  • EJ Thomas (Chair)
  • Arthur Buz Zeman