- Laws, Regulations, and Federal Register Notices
Date Published: December 2016
On December 14, 2016, HUD published a final rule in the federal register entitled Housing Counseling: New Certification Requirements. This rule implements statutory requirements that housing counseling required under or provided in connection with all HUD programs will be provided by HUD-Certified Housing Counselors. With the new certification requirements, the benefits to the renter, the prospective homebuyer, or the existing homeowner are increased assurance of a more knowledgeable housing counselor providing more effective housing counseling services. HUD expects that more knowledgeable housing counselors will lead to better identification of housing issues, more knowledgeable referrals and resolution of barriers, and a greater ability to avoid scams.
The rule provides guidance for agencies who are required to have housing counseling certified staff as well as new regulations prohibiting the distribution of HUD Housing Counseling Program grant funds to agencies convicted of election law violations or misusing those funds in a manner that constitutes a material violation of HUD requirements. Some of the requirements are in effect 30 days after the rule publication, on January 13, 2017. Counselors have up to 36 months after the date that the HUD housing counselor certification examination becomes available, which will be published in a separate Federal Register Notice to comply with the Certification requirement.