The purpose of this assistance is to continue investing in the creation and maintenance of a professional and effective housing counseling industry that is able to meaningfully assist consumers by providing them with the information they need to make informed housing choices and maximizes the impact
of Federal funding appropriated for HUD’s Housing Counseling Program.
Statutory requirements enacted as part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) require that individual housing counselors participating in HUD’s Housing Counseling Program shall demonstrate, by written examination, that they are competent in providing counseling in each of the core topics provided at section 106(e)(2)(12 U.S.C.
HUD published the Final Rule implementing Housing Counseling Certification requirements on December 14, 2016 at 81 FR 9063 2. A revision of the certification timeline was later published in a Final Rule on December 4, 2020 at 85 FR 7823 0. The 2016 rule implements statutory requirements that housing counseling required under or provided in connection with all HUD programs must be provided by HUD a HUD-certified counselor employed by a HUD approved or Participating Agency .
HUD requires six (6) Core Topics in which housing counselors need to be competent.
Financial Management; Property Maintenance; Homeownership and Tenancy; Fair Housing and other Civil Rights Laws and Requirements; Housing Affordability; Avoidance of, and responses to, rental and mortgage delinquency and avoidance of eviction and mortgage default.
HUD also acknowledges the need for more housing counselors trained in Rental Housing and Mortgage Delinquency/Default counseling.
In that regard, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) enacted on March 27, 2020, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) , provided various moratoriums on foreclosure and eviction filings to provide urgent economic relief to households impacted by COVID-1 9. The prospect of these moratoria expiring has amplified the need for more trained counselors.
HUD also recognizes the important role housing counselors can provide in helping to mitigate delinquencies and defaults leading to s foreclosures and evictions and how that mitigation can help decrease losses to the FHA Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund.
This assistance will expand the number of agencies and counselors who can provide Rental Housing and Mortgage Delinquency/Default counseling.
Current HUD priorities also center on Disiaster Preparation and Recovery.
Housing counseling agencies (HCA's) are in a unique position to help their communities prepare for and recover from a disaster.
They can help their clients prepare for disasters by integrating preparedness into their counseling and education activities.
Post-disaster, they can use their knowledge of local resources and programs to help clients navigate the complexities of disaster recovery resources and programs.
This NOFO supports courses that provide training in the areas of disaster preparation and recovery.
HUD recognizes that counselors may specialize in specific housing counseling topics, and that counselors will need more than general housing counseling training in order to provide high quality services that include general and specialized housing counseling topics.
This NOFO provides notice of a grant program that supports the provision of both basic housing counseling training and specialized topics of training including training in the core topics for housing counselor certification, rental housing counseling, mortgage delinquency/default counseling, and disaster preparation and recovery to help meet these perceived needs.
This financial support will assist housing counseling agencies to increase the use of partnerships with local and state-wide organizations to provide additional place-based training on state and local issues.
In addition, this support should result in an increased number of training scholarships.