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HUD No. 24-146
HUD Public Affairs
(202) 708-0685
June 14, 2024

HUD Expands Support for Housing Counseling Services in Tribal Communities

Final rule expands Tribal participation in HUD-approved housing counseling by removing unique impediments to counselor certification.

WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Housing Counseling announced that it published a final rule outlining housing counselor certification requirements for housing counseling conducted in connection with the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) and the Indian Community Development Block Grant (ICDBG) programs. Housing counseling programs are an important tool to help further financial literacy – particularly for low- and moderate- income families. This can be the key to ensuring that potential homebuyers are set for long-term success and that renters avoid eviction. With this rule, HUD is removing previous impediments to participation in the HUD housing counseling program by Tribes, Tribally Designated Housing Entities, and other Tribal entities. HUD expects the rule to expand the number of HUD-certified housing counselors serving the unique needs of Tribal communities.

“Throughout the Biden-Harris Administration, we’ve prioritized strengthening Nation-to-Nation relationships with Tribes by working to reduce historic barriers to housing access,” said HUD Acting Secretary Adrianne Todman. “After more than a year working with Tribes and Tribal Organizations on the proposed rule, HUD is proud to publish this final rule ensuring members of Tribal communities’ access to crucial housing counseling services tailored to their specific needs. We are committed to partnering with Tribes to increase equitable housing and support generational wealth building.”

Both the proposed and final rules were informed by multiple Tribal consultation and listening sessions where Tribes provided input and feedback on HUD’s existing housing counselor certification requirements and the ways in which they should be tailored to meet Tribal needs.

“Removing this barrier means that more Tribal individuals and families can be served by a trusted source within their community – a source that understands their unique cultural perspective and housing needs,” said Assistant Secretary for Housing and Federal Housing Commissioner Julia Gordon. “Tribal members have long been underserved in the housing market.”

“This rule is the result of strong collaboration among HUD’s Offices of Housing Counseling and Native American Programs and Tribal representatives to remove a long-standing barrier to delivering robust and culturally sensitive housing counseling to Tribal members,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing Counseling David Berenbaum. “We look forward to welcoming more Tribal entities into the HUD housing counseling network.”

With today’s final rule, HUD will implement a new category of HUD-certified housing counselor, called a HUD-certified Tribal housing counselor, and will implement a new Tribal housing counselor certification exam specifically for Tribes that will include adjustments for distinctions in fair housing laws pertaining to Tribes and the unique status of trust land. The provisions of the final rule establish a four-year transition period to allow Tribal grantees sufficient time to ensure that housing counselors can be certified. In addition, HUD will:

  • Require that housing counseling that is funded with or provided in connection with IHBG or ICDBG funds is performed by individuals who are HUD certified;
  • Facilitate additional training for counselors who become certified to provide housing counseling for the IHBG and ICDBG programs; and
  • Modify study materials for housing counselor certification examinations to account for tailored content specific to Tribes.


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