Rural Resource Guides

Housing Counseling Assistance Program

Housing Counseling Assistance Program


HUD’s Housing Counseling program, authorized under Section 106 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968, allows approved organizations to provide information, assistance and counseling to prospective homebuyers, homeowners, and tenants of federally-assisted and conventionally-mortgaged housing. There are approximately 750 HUD-approved counseling agencies across the United States.


Purpose: This program provides grant funds to eligible, HUD-approved housing counseling agencies to counsel homebuyers, homeowners, and tenants under HUD programs and homeowners with conventional mortgages, Department of Veterans Affairs guaranteed loans, or Farmers Home Administration mortgages. Counseling–which consists of providing information and guidance related to purchase or rental, Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, money management, budgeting, and credit counseling — is provided to assure successful homeownership or tenancy and prevent delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, and other losses.

Eligibility: Agencies applying for a HUD housing counseling grant must first become HUD-approved counseling agencies. An applicant agency must be nonprofit (either public or private), such as a union, housing development corporation, legal service, or government agency.

Terms: Funding assistance is for a discrete period of time, usually one year. Grantees invoice HUD on a monthly basis for housing counseling services delivered during the previous month.

Comments: HUD-approved agencies compete for counseling funds. HUD announces the availability of funds through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) published annually in the Federal Register, usually in the first or second quarter of the federal fiscal year in which the funds are available. Application for funds is made through a Request for Grant Application (RFGA) available from the appropriate HUD office shortly after publication of the NOFA. Grantees are expected to find additional sources of counseling and operating funding as the HUD funds can only support limited activities. Counseling services are then provided by the agency free of charge, with emphasis on low- and moderate-income households. Generally, the most frequent service provided is mortgage default counseling, followed by rental delinquency and pre- and post-occupancy counseling.


For additional information contact the Director of Housing in HUD regional offices or the Chief of the Loan Management Branch in local HUD field offices or call HUD’s Single-Family Servicing Division, Secretary-Held and Counseling Services Branch in Washington, DC at (202) 708-3664.

January 2001

This Information Sheet was prepared by the Housing Assistance Council. The work that provided the basis for this publication was supported by funding from the Ford Foundation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The substance and finding of that work are dedicated to the public. HAC is solely responsible for the accuracy of the statements and interpretations contained in this publication and such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the government.