August 2018, Volume 7 Issue 02

From the Deputy Assistant Secretary

Greetings,

We’re midway through August 2018, and it has already been more than a year since the HUD Certified Housing Counselor Examination became available. That time went by quickly, and with the compliance date for the Housing Counseling Certification Requirements Final Rule less than two years away, I want to remind housing counselors not to delay getting certified.

The Final Rule was implemented to strengthen and improve the effectiveness of housing counseling required under or provided in connection with HUD programs. Once housing counselors become certified, housing counseling agencies will be better equipped to deliver quality services to people across the nation. More housing counseling programs will meet HUD standards, and housing counselors will have an important credential. But in order to get that credential, it's critical to prepare.

Over the last year, the Office of Housing Counseling has worked to develop, update, and implement its training and resource opportunities to help today’s housing counselors prepare to become tomorrow’s HUD-Certified Housing Counselors. In this issue of The Bridge, we share some of the lessons we have learned in our efforts to support exam preparation and document the experiences of housing counseling agencies who have started the journey to certification. In particular, we highlight:

  • Successes, challenges, and opportunities of providing housing counseling services in virtual settings;
  • Best practices for helping clients create a sustainable budget to achieve their housing goals;
  • Lessons learned by housing counselors who have completed the certification exam;
  • Recommendations for ensuring the timely and accurate completion of Grant Performance Reports; and
  • Acknowledgments of HUD’s efforts to impact communities beyond housing-related services.

With each day that passes, the certification deadline draws nearer. While the clock ticks, the Office of Housing Counseling will continue our efforts to help housing counselors pursue and achieve the milestone of certification and, in turn, help their clients achieve their housing goals. I encourage anyone planning to take the exam to be proactive and start preparing as soon as possible. Not only will you benefit, but so will your clients – and that’s exactly why we do what we do.

Sarah

secretary

Sarah Gerecke

Deputy Assistant Secretary Office of Housing Counseling