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Quarter 3 2021, Volume 9 Issue 3

Managing Certification After the Final Compliance Date. Certification Questions: After the final compliance date, agency certification responsibilities are not over. As a result, agencies may have some questions about what happens after August 1, 2021. As of July 19, 2021, There are 1,628 Active agencies and 3,370 housing counseling are HUD certified. What happens if my agency does not have a sufficient number of certified counselors? If an agency does not have a sufficient number of HUD certified housing counselors to implement its Housing Counseling Work Plan as of August 1, 2021, the agency will not satisfy the staffing requirements necessary to participate in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program. Therefore, HUD may change an agency’s status to inactive, in lieu of termination, consistent with 24 CFR 214.200, to allow the agency time to reach a sufficient number of HUD certified housing counselors to implement its Housing Counseling Work Plan. Note that expenses incurred during the period an agency is placed on inactive status are not eligible for reimbursement. Agencies should create a plan to maintain enough certified counselors to support agency capacity – this is essential to agencies' success after the compliance date. What does my agency do if we hire a new housing counselor or if a certified counselor leaves our agency? New counselors hired after August 1, 2021, may only perform administrative duties until they are HUD certified. New staff who have not passed the certification exam yet should review the certification resources on the HUD Exchange to get started with the process. New staff who have already passed the certification exam must have their employment validated at the new agency location for which they work. When a participating agency no longer employs a HUD certified housing counselor, the agency must notify their HUD Point of Contact within 15 days of the change in staffing. The agency application coordinator must validate the end of the counselor's employment in FHA Connection. What other responsibilities does my agency have after the final compliance date? Counselors and coordinators should maintain their personal information in FHA Connection. FHA Connection users should be sure to log in at least once every 90 days and change passwords for their accounts to stay active.