Becoming a Housing Counselor

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Do you want to help people meet their home goals?

Housing counselors help individuals and families as they:

  • Buy a home
  • Rent a home
  • Avoid foreclosure or eviction
  • Rebuild credit
  • Improve financial stability

Consider becoming a housing counselor!

Housing counselors play an important role in stabilizing communities and supporting individuals and families by offering free guidance on how to reach their home goals. Housing Counseling services are often provided through community-based nonprofits that connect clients with a variety of resources and programming. Housing counselors coordinate group workshops or offer one-on-one advice on a variety of critical topics, such as being a responsible renter, identifying down payment assistance programs to purchase a home, and avoiding discriminatory or predatory lending practices.

In addition to helping would-be homebuyers realize their dreams, housing counselors also support people experiencing housing instability. They help clients who are facing foreclosure or eviction by equipping them with information and helping them understand their options.

Through this important work, housing counselors help their communities and play a part in addressing systemic inequities such as the racial gap in homeownership.

Housing Counseling Helps People Reach their Housing Goals

How to Become a HUD-Certified Housing Counselor

In order to become a housing counselor, you must learn the basics of housing counseling and pass a HUD Individual Certification Exam. Later, you can expand your knowledge to help your clients on as they face different situations.

Housing Action Illinois has designed a training series to help newcomers who are interested in a career as a housing counselor. Our Housing Counseling Career Path is a comprehensive program designed to help you understand the six core principles of housing counseling and prepare to pass the HUD Individual Certification Exam, which makes you eligible for hire by a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.

Our next Housing Counseling Career Path trainings will be taking place virtually on:

Reach out to Housing Action’s Wanda Collins if you have questions about building the pipeline of new talent for the housing counseling field and sign up for our email list to learn about upcoming training opportunities.

Find a Housing Counseling Position

Housing Action Illinois is collaborating with the National Housing Resource Center (NHRC) to expand the field of housing counseling, and NHRC has launched a jobs board to match HUD-certified housing counselors to agencies with open positions.

Find or post a housing counseling position at HousingCounselingCareer.org.

New Professional Standard

As of August 2021, all individuals who provide housing counseling in connection with a HUD program must be HUD-certified. This means they must take and pass the HUD Individual Certification Exam.

HUD Certification Exam Prep

Housing Action Illinois has supported counselors and agencies in navigating this shift in the housing counseling industry. In the wake of the new rule, we offered regular online study groups and one-on-one support while keeping agencies informed of the latest updates on the rollout of this requirement. More than 1,000 participants joined our Online Study Groups from 2018 – 2021.

Now that this certification is a uniform standard expected of housing counselors, we help newcomers to the field prepare to take and pass the exam through our Housing Counselor Career Path training.

Learn more about the exam in our FAQ »

Interested in our study group and one-on-one exam prep? Contact Wanda Collins to discuss options for private training.