November 2018, Volume 7 Issue 05

Housing Counseling Trends

Who is using housing counseling services this quarter? What services are people most interested in accessing? How does this quarter compare to the same quarter last year? These questions can be answered by looking at the HUD-9902 data. The data below serves many purposes, one of the most important being that it helps demonstrate the need for housing counseling.

So how did housing counseling activities in the third quarter of 2018 compare to the same quarter of 2017? The overall number of clients counseled decreased from approximately 880,000 to 816,000, and there were declines in almost every measure related to the kind of services clients receive. The percentage of clients who gained access to housing resources, developed a sustainable budget, or received rental, delinquency, or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counseling all declined. Bucking this trend, the percentage of people who obtained pre-purchase counseling, post purchase counseling, and homeless counseling increased.

One key item to note in this chart is the percentage of clients who develop a sustainable budget. There was a decline from the third quarter of FY 2017 to that of FY 2018. The Housing Counseling Program handbook requires that counselors establish a household budget that the client can afford.

Over time, trends in service delivery generally reflect changes in the economy and in the housing market. The overall decline in use of services could reflect a stronger economy. However, it is more likely an indication that agencies simply do not have the capacity to serve as many people, partially as a result of this year’s delayed Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) funding. Is this trend happening locally in your area, as well? Do you have fewer resources? Are you adjusting services to better align with community needs? Responding to funding, economic, and social changes to better serve clientele is a key feature of successful agencies over time. The Office of Housing Counseling encourages housing counseling agencies to use this data to adapt your agency’s approach and services to your clients’ changing needs.

Client Service Statistics

Metric

Third Quarter FY 2017

Third Quarter FY 2018

Number of clients counseled or educated

880,246

816,925

Percent gaining access to housing resources

23%

22.2%

Percent who develop a sustainable budget

43.3%

40.0%

Percent who receive group education

32.87%

34.94%

Percent of clients who receive homeless prevention counseling

1.20%

1.3%

Percent who receive rental counseling

9.50%

9.15%

Percent who receive pre-purchase counseling

23.32%

27.83%

Percent who receive Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) counseling

7.36%

5.91%

Percent who receive post-purchase counseling

3.85%

4.83%

Percent who receive mortgage delinquency counseling

21.98%

16.07%

Clients whose household income is less than 80% of the area median income

59.76%

57.67%

Client Demographic Statistics

Metric

Third Quarter FY 2017

Third Quarter FY 2018

Asian, Pacific Islander, or Native American

4.28%

4.14%

African American

37.21%

40.27%

Caucasian

40.55%

35.30%

Mixed Race and Other

17.95%

20.29%

Ethnicity: Latino or Hispanic

18.16%

17.92%

Rural

11.72%

10.81%

Limited English Proficiency

7.75%

7.33%

graph on a computer screen