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HUD   >   Program Offices   >   Housing   >   Single Family   >   Housing Counselors   >   HUD Housing Counseling Program Description
HUD Office of Housing Counseling
Housing Counseling Program Description

Summary:
This program provides counseling to consumers on seeking, financing, maintaining, renting, or owning a home.  The program also addresses homelessness through counseling and assists homeowners in need of foreclosure assistance.

Purpose:
The Housing Counseling Assistance Program enables anyone who wants to (or already does) rent or own housing-whether through a HUD program, a Veterans Affairs program, other Federal programs, a State or local program, or the regular private market-to get the counseling they need to make their rent or mortgage payments and to be a responsible tenant or owner in other ways. The counseling is provided by HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.

Type of Assistance:
HUD awards grants to HUD-approved Housing Counseling Agencies and State Housing Finance Agencies through a competitive process.

Eligible Grantees:
Only HUD-approved housing counseling agencies and State Housing Finance Agencies are eligible to apply for Housing Counseling grants. To become HUD-approved, an agency must contact the HUD Office of Housing Counseling to confer about the agency's eligibility and submit an application for approval.  Grantees must file quarterly invoices, mid-term performance reports, and a final report. The HUD Office of Housing Counseling reviews the performance of each agency  to evaluate whether the agency can keep its HUD approved status.

Eligible Customers:
Individuals, families, or groups who are tenants, homeowners, homeless, or homebuyers, may receive counseling from HUD-approved and HUD funded housing counseling agencies.

Eligible Activities:
Eligible housing counseling activities can include: rental, default, homeownership, homeless and reverse mortgage counseling for senior homeowners.

Application:
Applicants for grants from this program must be HUD-approved counseling agencies. HUD publishes it's Housing Counseling Notice Of Funding Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register and on its website. To apply, the agency must use the Grants.gov electronic application system. HUD evaluates applications and issues grant agreements to successful applicants. Applicants may appeal a grant denial or amount to HUD.

Funding Status:
HUD pays only part of the costs of an agency's counseling activities, so grantees need to leverage their HUD grant with funding from other resources.

Technical Guidance:
This program is authorized by Section 106 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, as amended (12 U.S.C. 1701x). No program regulations have been issued; the program is guided by the Housing Counseling Program Handbook (HUD Handbook No. 7610.1. The program is administered by HUD's Office of Housing Counseling - Federal Housing Administration.

For More Information:
A searchable list of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies can be found on the Internet or by calling (800) 569-4287.

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