HUD Certification

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New Professional Standard for Housing Counselors

In December 2016, HUD issued a Final Rule for the Housing Counseling program that requires that all individuals who provide housing counseling in connection with a HUD program must take and pass the HUD Housing Counseling certification exam. The initial deadline for this, August 2020, was extended to August 2021 due to the pandemic.

Housing Action Illinois has been supporting counselors and agencies as we navigate this shift in the housing counseling industry. We have offered regular online study groups and one-on-one support while keeping agencies informed of the latest updates on the rollout of this requirement.

Now that this certification is a uniform standard expected of housing counselors, we want to help newcomers to the field in preparing for and passing the exam.

Studying for this test can be stressful—but it doesn’t have to be! We’re here to support housing counselors and housing counseling agencies prepare for this shift in the housing counseling industry.

Learn more about the exam in our FAQ »

Study with Us

Housing Action Illinois began developing unique housing counselor trainings more than a decade ago, during the foreclosure crisis. Since then, our trainings have evolved to fit the needs of both existing and would-be housing counselors in Illinois. After three years of helping professionals already working as housing counselors pass the certification exam by hosting Online Study Groups, which more than 1,000 participants joined from 2018 – 2021, we’re now expanding our focus to also help newcomers to the field take the test and secure jobs.

Become a HUD-Certified Housing Counselor

The 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 to become eligible for hire by a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.

There are no Career Path trainings currently scheduled. Check back soon for updates.

Reach out to Housing Action’s Wanda Collins if you have questions about certification or building the pipeline of new talent for the housing counseling field.


I was a very anxious test taker. I didn’t pass the first time. I felt so much more comfortable and at ease having someone “teach” me the information instead of learning on my own.

The speakers Wanda and Bibian were great teachers, and wanted you to SUCCEED! They were hilarious and made studying fun!

The slides broke down the study material in an easier way to learn, and they were available if you had any questions. I felt like this is what I needed before my first test! It was a game changer.


I just wanted to let you know that I passed my exam today. Thank you and Housing Action Illinois for the webinars. They were my saving grace.

The study group was indispensable in so many ways!! Your advice was spot on and I fully utilized both the assessment and pre-test to gauge progress.

“I had taken the test once and didn’t pass and was actually very upset and disappointed that I didn’t pass, especially since I had been counseling for over 9 years. I was determined, and after searching the web and other webinars, I found your study group recordings…after studying at least 1-2 hours every other day using your slides, videos and the HUD exam training website – I was able to pass the exam yesterday.”