HUD Housing Counseling Intermediary

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For more than a decade, Housing Action Illinois has provided crucial training and programmatic support to housing counseling agencies. Becoming a HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Intermediary in 2014 was a natural extension of this work.

As an Intermediary, we secure funding from HUD and pass it on to an affiliate network of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies in the Midwest. We help these agencies with administrative functions, and assist each agency to ensure it meets program standards and client needs. We aid them in expending funds, leveraging other resources, compiling reports, training staff, and staying abreast of new funding opportunities. With our support and resources, these agencies are able to help more families and create more change in their communities.

Since starting in 2014, our network has nearly tripled in size from twelve to thirty-five affiliated agencies. We now manage $1.4 million in counseling funds, helping our affiliates become more efficient and provide more comprehensive services.

Congrats to our Intermediary affiliates on being 100% certified! Counselors at every agency have passed the recently introduced HUD-certified housing counseling exam. 

Graph showing HUD Intermediary funding increasing to $1.4 million in 2021

Our affiliate agencies offer an impressive array of housing programs and services. They provide financial management and budget counseling, mortgage delinquency and default counseling, pre-purchase education, one-on-one homeownership counseling, rental information, fair housing guidance, rehabilitation programs, reverse mortgage counseling, homeless prevention support, predatory lending education, and foreclosure prevention options.

Graphic showing impact numbers of Intermediary for FY21

Resources & Trainings for Affiliates

We facilitate regular trainings designed to meet the unique needs of housing organizations. In 2019, we received funding to take our trainings to a national level. See upcoming trainings »

Still need to pass the HUD certification exam? Join our online study group to prepare in a supportive, peer-learning environment »

How to Become an Affiliate

As an Intermediary, Housing Action’s geographic priority region is the Midwest, centered around Illinois and ranging as far as Ohio and Iowa. Potential affiliates should be HUD-approved or interested in becoming HUD-approved. Organizations must be registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit or an instrumentality of government to join Housing Action’s Intermediary network.

Housing Action can help your agency assess whether it is in a position to become HUD-approved, and work with you to secure approval. For more information, contact David Young, Director of Capacity Building, at (312) 939-6914 or

Affiliate Spotlights

Navigating Transition: LUCHA

LUCHA’s Housing Opportunities Program helps individuals and families find and keep good homes in the Chicago area through its HUD-approved housing counseling services. But in 2018, the program went through an intense transition period with staff changes and restructuring. In the aftermath, LUCHA realized they were facing a variety of issues: their client records were incomplete and out of date, they needed a more rigorous program model with concrete goals and outcomes, and they needed to cross-train their housing counselors. With an official review quickly approaching to determine if they could keep their HUD approval, the team realized they needed outside help. They joined Housing Action Illinois’ Intermediary network, giving them access to the hands-on expertise of Housing Action’s Capacity Building Specialists.

Read our case study to see how we helped »

Bringing It All Together: Respond Now

Respond Now, which provides immediate, short-term assistance to families in the Chicago Southland, first relied on Housing Action Illinois as a policy advocate. The social services provider looked to us for state and federal policy updates and to advocate for policies that would help them help their clients.

Then, five years ago, Respond Now realized that their clients needed help with foreclosures and came to us for assistance. Together, we developed a plan for creating a new housing counseling program. Housing Action trained their staff in counseling, helped them find funding, and placed an AmeriCorps VISTA who worked extensively on their application for HUD certification. We’re proud to say that today Respond Now is both a HUD-approved housing counseling agency and part of our Intermediary network, with the capacity to serve 300 clients a year.



Man with quote "Housing Action helped me every step of the way."