The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the launch of a new website, hudhousingcounselors.com, that is designed specifically for HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, according to an announcement on HUD's website.
The site offers a wide range of free online training for housing counselors designed to help prepare them for the upcoming mandatory HUD-certified counselor examination. Topics covered on the new website include responsibilities of homeowership and tenancy, avoiding foreclosure and eviction, fair housing, and financial management, according to HUD.
HUD will continue to encourage housing counselors to participate in other housing counseling training opportunities offered by HUD grantees as well as other training providers. The training offered on the new website is not meant to replace housing counseling training offered by other providers.
"We’re very excited to offer this free, on-line training and encourage housing counselors to take full advantage of this opportunity in advance of the publication of the final rule for housing counselor certification," said Sarah Gerecke, HUD’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Housing Counseling. "This training covers a broad spectrum of housing issues required under the statute and creates a national baseline of knowledge for housing counselors. In the end, we hope the curriculum will ultimately prove beneficial to housing counseling clients that we all serve."
A downloadable study guide that can be accessed through tablets and other devices is available on the new site, according to HUD. It will be made available in Spanish in the near future.
HUD's proposed rule on housing counseling certification requirements was published in September 2013; since then HUD has been working on the final rule, considering all comments the Department received during the comment period. The housing counselor certification examination will be made available after the final rule is published, according to HUD.