2018 Trainings Calendar

Housing Action Illinois helps housing counselors and their agencies build their skills and capacity so they can provide the best housing and housing-related services to renters and homeowners. Our experts coordinate and teach regular workshops for counselors and offer one-on-one support and direct technical assistance to organizations. Below are our upcoming workshops for 2018; they’re geared toward housing professionals.

We do our best to keep costs minimal, and many of these trainings are already being offered at a discount, so unfortunately scholarships are not available.

Find additional housing-related events, such as advocacy webinars, fundraising benefits, and events hosted by our member organizations, on our general calendar.

Grant Writing for Housing Nonprofits (February 15, Chicago)

Writing an effective foundation grant proposal takes a lot of work. In addition to strong, persuasive writing, it can involve a great deal of planning, research, organizational development, and relationship building. Learn how to tackle this process step-by-step at Housing Action Illinois’ full-day workshop, led by nonprofit experts and consultants Valerie F. Leonard and Noah Temaner Jenkins. Using a combination of lecture, case studies, and hands-on group exercises, the workshop will take participants all the way from program concept and proposal development through evaluation and monitoring.

$50 |1-day class (9 am – 5 pm) | Learn more and register

Credit as an Asset (February 27 – 28, Chicago)

Understand credit building as an essential and viable activity, foundational to the successful implementation of any financial asset building strategy for low-income and underserved individuals and families. In this training, we’ll explore tools and develop skills in order to design, implement, and measure credit building programs based on client needs and goals as well as organization missions and capacities. Engage with other training participants and learn from Credit Builders Alliance s growing Credit Building Community about best practices in credit education, access to responsible financial products, and measuring and communicating client credit outcomes.

$120 | 2-day class (9 am – 4 pm) | Learn more and register

Protections for Rent-to-Own Homebuyers in Illinois (March 9, Chicago)

As of January 1, 2018, would-be homeowners are protected from predatory rent-to-own contracts by a new state law that creates some of the strongest consumer safeguards in the nation when it comes to these situations. Housing Action Illinois drafted and advocated for this legislation after a resurgence in predatory contracts from largely unregulated companies that falsely promise homeownership to people with low incomes. Too often, these contracts result in people agreeing to buy houses in extremely poor condition at highly inflated purchase prices and high loan interest rates. For predatory sellers, their business model is based on the buyer defaulting on the contract, so the home can be resold in the same predatory manner. The provisions of the law include many mandatory disclosures and prohibitions on certain contract terms. Join us at this workshop to learn more about the new protections.

No fee | 2 – 4 pm | Learn more and register

Fundamentals of Rental Housing Counseling (March 13 – 15, Chicago)

Americans are more likely to rent a home today than at any other time during the previous 50 years. Given this landscape, it is essential for housing counselors to empower clients with information and resources during every step of the rental process. That’s why Housing Action Illinois has developed a comprehensive, step-by-step training to introduce housing counselors to rental counseling or deepen the knowledge of counselors already guiding clients through the rental process.Our curriculum includes an extensive collection of resources and more than a dozen templates for housing counselors to use as they aid their clients. While many examples are taken from the Midwest, the information is applicable throughout the nation. When housing counselors support tenants and landlords by facilitating better communication, understanding, and respect, we help our communities thrive.

$150 | 2-day class (9 am – 4 pm) | Learn more and register

Grant Writing for Housing Nonprofits (March 28, Springfield)

Writing an effective foundation grant proposal takes a lot of work. In addition to strong, persuasive writing, it can involve a great deal of planning, research, organizational development, and relationship building. Learn how to tackle this process step-by-step at Housing Action Illinois’ full-day workshop, led by nonprofit experts and consultants Valerie F. Leonard and Noah Temaner Jenkins. Using a combination of lecture, case studies, and hands-on group exercises, the workshop will take participants all the way from program concept and proposal development through evaluation and monitoring.

$50 |1-day class (9 am – 5 pm) | Learn more and register

NeighborWorks HO250 – Homeownership Counseling Certification: Principles, Practices and Techniques, Part 1 (March 26 – 30, Chicago)

This course is for housing counselors with a minimum of one year of counseling experience providing one-on-one pre-purchase counseling to clients. Through hands-on applications, this intermediate level course teaches counselors the skills, procedures and content needed to create new homeowners. They learn how to provide one-on-one counseling sessions to address savings, credit and debt barriers to homeownership, and use the latest industry tools, including client management systems (HCO, CounselorMax), techniques and resources. They practice mortgage readiness assessment, prequalification, standardized income calculations, credit report review, action plan development, and other key counseling activities. HUD-requirements for file management, code of conduct, and operations guidelines along with implementation of the National Industry Standards for Homeownership Education and Counseling are taught. Full certification in homeownership counseling training is offered by completing this course, passing the exam and completing the Foreclosure Basics course (HO109 Foreclosure Basics or HO109el).

$200 | 5-day class (8:30 am – 4:30 pm) | Learn more and register

Housing Counselor Online Made Easy (April 4 – 5, Chicago)

Join us for a hands-on training to learn to use HCO more efficiently and effectively. We’ll show you how to complete HUD-9902 reports, track clients, resolve error codes, use HCO to determine trends and highlight successes, and more.

$120 | (9 am – 4 pm) | Learn more and register

Study Group for HUD Housing Counseling Certification (Weekly from April 18 – May 30, Online)

Effective August 1, 2020, you must be HUD-certified to provide housing counseling services. Don’t wait until the last minute—take the first step towards earning your certification by joining the Housing Action Illinois Study Group. This six-week course will help you prepare for the exam in a relaxed, peer-learning environment. Each session is just one hour and will cover one of the exam’s six focus areas: Financial Management, Homeownership, Tenancy, Foreclosure, Housing Affordability, and Fair Housing. Test your knowledge, ask questions, and start preparing for the future.

Free | 1 pm – 2 pm) | Learn more and register

Protections for Rent-to-Own Homebuyers in Illinois (April 26, Webinar)

As of January 1, 2018, would-be homeowners are protected from predatory rent-to-own contracts by a new state law that creates some of the strongest consumer safeguards in the nation when it comes to these situations. Housing Action Illinois drafted and advocated for this legislation after a resurgence in predatory contracts from largely unregulated companies that falsely promise homeownership to people with low incomes. Too often, these contracts result in people agreeing to buy houses in extremely poor condition at highly inflated purchase prices and high loan interest rates. For predatory sellers, their business model is based on the buyer defaulting on the contract, so the home can be resold in the same predatory manner. The provisions of the law include many mandatory disclosures and prohibitions on certain contract terms. Join us at this workshop to learn more about the new protections.

No fee | 2 – 3 pm | Learn more and register

NeighborWorks HO345 – Foreclosure Intervention and Default Counseling Certification, Part 1 (May 21 – 25, Chicago)

This advanced level five-day course is designed for counselors with one or more years of experience providing one-on-one foreclosure intervention and default counseling. This rigorous, in-depth course covers critical elements of the default and foreclosure process as well as loss mitigation options for prime and subprime loans. Participants will engage in exercises and utilize case studies which will sharpen their negotiating skills with servicers and improve their counseling methods with clients. There are two training requirements for certification. This course is Part I. REQUIREMENT: You must pass the prerequisite test with a score of 80% or better before enrolling in this course.

$200 | 5-day class (8:30 am – 4:30 pm) | Learn more and register

NeighborWorks HO360 – Homeownership Counseling Certification for Program Managers and Executive Directors (July 16 – 20, Chicago)

This course is designed for professionals in the homeownership counseling field who are working at the management level. Through hands-on application participants will learn procedures and methodology that will better equip them to manage the day-to-day operations of a housing counseling program. In this course homeownership program managers and executive directors will learn how to: diversify funding sources; recruit, manage and retain counseling staff; perform contract reviews and programmatic assessments; and efficiently manage case files utilizing a variety of time management techniques. A strong focus on quality assurance and proficiency in operating in performance standards, HUD, National Industry Standards, fair housing, ethics, compliance, pipeline review and reporting is included.

$200 | 5-day class (8:30 am – 4:30 pm) | Learn more and register

Program Manager Training (August 13 – 17, Chicago), brought in partnership with RCAC

Managing your housing counseling program can be a challenge especially in times of reduced grant income. To help you succeed, this 5-day class covers these important areas of program management: HUD requirements; drafting a counseling plan that meets HUD requirements; financial management including compliance with the OMB Uniform Guidance; drafting an effective quality control plan and how to monitor it; help you to clarify how you protect your client’s personally identifiable information; building sustainability to your counseling program; keys to marketing your counseling program. Instructors will share easy-to-use checklists to help make your program easier to run!

5-day class | Registration through RCAC

Illinois Anti-Predatory Lending Database (October 2, Webinar), brought in partnership with IDFPR

The Illinois Anti-Predatory Lending Database (APLD) protects consumers in Cook, Kane, Peoria and Will Counties by requiring counseling before any purchase money mortgage or refinance transaction considered “high-risk” can close. Join the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and Housing Action Illinois for an informative APLD update. The workshop will explain how the APLD works, review what constitutes a predatory loan, clarify which organizations can provide counseling, detail what fees can be charged and who pays them, and provide APLD statistics for 2018.

No fee | 11 – 12 pm | Learn more and register

Study Group for HUD Housing Counseling Certification (Weekly from September 26 – October 26, Online & in Bloomington)

Effective August 1, 2020, you must be HUD-certified to provide housing counseling services. Don’t wait until the last minute—take the first step towards earning your certification by joining the Housing Action Illinois Study Group. This six-week course will help you prepare for the exam in a relaxed, peer-learning environment. Each session is just one hour and will cover one of the exam’s six focus areas: Financial Management, Homeownership, Tenancy, Foreclosure, Housing Affordability, and Fair Housing. Test your knowledge, ask questions, and start preparing for the future.

The first four sessions will be online webinars that will take place at 1:00 pm. The final two will be held in-person at our 2018 Housing Matters! Conference.

Free | 1 pm – 2 pm) | Learn more and register

Foreclosure Law Guidelines (November 8, Webinar), brought in partnership with LAF

This webinar will review the Illinois mortgage foreclosure process, with an emphasis on the necessary steps for filing a foreclosure, a typical timeline, borrower defenses and protections, and tips for what cases would make for appropriate referrals to legal aid or other foreclosure defense attorneys.

No fee | 2 – 3 pm | Learn more and register

Student Loan Debt Training (November 13 – 15, Chicago)

Housing counselors often work with clients weighed down by student loan debt and with families who are trying to decide whether to take out loans for a child’s college education. Many, if not most, are making these major decisions without assistance, which can have far-reaching repercussions. Long after graduation, student loan debt affects major life decisions such as what job to take, where to live—and whether or not it is possible to purchase a home.  Since housing counselors see families before they take out loans, as well as clients currently paying off major debt, they are ideally positioned to provide valuable guidance to students and parents. That’s why Housing Action has developed a three-day, place-based training that will prepare housing counselors to help inform and guide these clients. During our training, we discuss options for paying for higher education, such as loans and grants available; repayment options; expenses beyond tuition; and budgeting while paying off loans. We will also explore the ways that student loans affect homeownership options. Counselors will leave ready to offer student loan counseling as a new service.

$100 | 3-day class (9:00 am – 4:30 pm) | Learn more and register

Additional Trainings

Housing Discrimination in Your Community: Housing Action will continue our fair housing initiative by hosting a series of workshops on housing discrimination for the general public in 2018. We’re excited to take the next step with the initiative; check back soon for more information.

Communications 101 for FPP-G Recipients: Housing Action Illinois is excited to announce a new initiative to support housing counselors and their agencies. Beginning in January 2018, we are offering marketing and communications training and consulting for those who have been awarded the FPP-G grant. Learn more here.